CREDO’s Elijah Zarlin, Becky Bond, Josh Nelson and Michael Kieschnick, before being arrested at the White House. Photo by Josh Lopez.
“You are under arrest for failing to obey a lawful order.”
Those were the words we heard Monday as CREDO CEO Michael Kieschnick, Political Director Becky Bond, and campaigners Elijah Zarlin and Josh Nelson were arrested in front of the White House while representing the more than 200,000 CREDO members who have asked President Obama to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.
A total of 140 protesters were arrested on Monday, the largest day since the daily sit-ins began on August 20th. Our fellow arrestees included CREDO action members, a group of faith leaders, Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford, 350.org Executive Director May Boeve, and incredibly, our nation’s leading climate scientist, NASA’s Dr. James Hansen.
The process took many hours, including multiple hours spent handcuffed in the back of hot, sweaty police transport vans. But unlike our friend and action organizer Bill McKibben and 51 others who spent two nights in jail after taking action on the first day, all participants on Monday were fined and released by Monday evening. Our thanks go to the National Park Police, who were courteous and professional throughout the action.
It was extremely powerful to be part of a group so large who was willing to put their bodies on the line to send a message to the President, that these issues are so urgent and serious that we are ready to escalate our pressure and commitment to make sure that the Keystone XL Pipeline is not approved.
More than 840 people total have been arrested as of Thursday, making this a historic action in size. And the media, and the Obama Administration are certainly taking notice.
Meanwhile, just yesterday, the Republican Governor of Nebraska spoke out urging the President to reject the pipeline,1 and Oil Change International released an explosive report exposing that this pipeline to the gulf coast is being built primarily to ship oil overseas, not for US consumption.2
This is a crucial test for the President to see how far we will go in our use of destructive fossil fuels. If he will dig us in deeper, at greater and greater cost, or if he will stand up, and reject the madness of this project.
We hope that our presence at the action, the presence of our fellow CREDO members, of hundreds of other Americans, along with the voices of hundreds of thousands of CREDO members who signed the petition, will help push President Obama to draw a line in the sand against this destructive pipeline, and just say no.
If not, we are prepared to continue fighting.
If you would like to join the fight, here’s what you can do, right now:
- Sign the petition to President Obama
- Call the White House. Click here for a script and number to call.
Thank you for fighting with us to push President Obama to draw a line in the sand and say no to the Tar Sands pipeline.
- “Report: Exporting Energy Security: Keystone XL Exposed,” Oil Change International, August 31, 2011
- “GOP Nebraska gov. asks Obama to stop tar sands pipeline,” CBS News, August 31, 2011
CREDO’s Michael Kieschnick, Becky Bond and Elijah Zarlin are arrested. Photo by Josh Lopez.