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Hey Obama, We Don't Want Your Climate Drama
Around 25 people showed up to a vigil in Richmond against the Keystone XL pipeline on Monday, Feb. 3. The Vigil was part of a larger national call out by many environmental organizations like the Sierra Club, CREDO, and Rainforest Action Network to urge President Obama to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline. The recent release by the State Department of an environmental impact study on the issue, shows that the pipeline does not meet Obama's climate test.
The Richmond protest was organized by Martha Ellen Wingfield, a Hanover native who now lives in Richmond. Martha Ellen is not associated with any organization, and this was the first protest she has ever organized, but hopefully not the last. She was inspired by a call out for vigils by the Action Network. The Sierra Club joined in to sponsor the event as well.
According to Martha Ellen, the "Keystone XL is a tar sands pipeline that would transport some of the dirtiest crude oil on the planet from Alberta Canada, and across American soil for export. The vigil in Richmond is part of a campaign to try and stop the pipeline from ruining the climate and endangering communities along the proposed pipeline route."
The vigil took place at 400 North 8th Street in front of the Federal Court Building. The temperatures were in the high 30s and dropping, with a bitter wind which made the sign holding difficult and candle lighting impossible. The folks in attendance were in good cheer, and took part in multiple anti-Keystone XL and anti-Tar Sands chants. Several got up to speak on the aspects of the issue which are most important to them.
Sheets of chants were distributed, including "What do we say to the president? No pipelines for the 1%" and the uplifting "Tar sands kill! Pipelines Spill!"
Some attendees had been to Keystone XL protests in DC. Many were members of various environmental organizations. Virginia is not directly affected by the Keystone XL pipeline, which is why many in the area are unfamiliar with the issue.
However, for folks who are concerned, carbon emissions, climate change, violations of indigenous sovereignty, and oil spills are all important points of objection.
The crowd at the vigil was significantly older than is normally seen in local area demonstrations. This seems to reflect who is on email lists for various non-profit environmental organizations, and received notification of the last minute event. Many of the attendees will not live long enough to suffer the long term consequences of environmental travesties today. However, they recognize that their children and grandchildren will be the ones to inherit these problems.
There are not currently any more Keystone XL related events scheduled in the Richmond area.
#Keystonexl #Environment #SierraClub #Obama #ClimateChange #OilSpills #Tarsands #Solidarity