Sierra Club's Michael Brune and others arrested protesting Keystone XL Pipeline
History was made in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday after police arrested Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, Board of Directors President Allison Chin, and an amazingly broad coalition of almost 50 other climate-crisis activists outside the White House. This protest came because the Club's grassroots leadership decided that the obligation to address climate disruption has become so urgent, and the opportunity to attain clean energy prosperity so real, that we had a moral duty to act.
This act of civil disobedience, the first in the Club's 120-year history, was an announcement to President Obama and other leaders that they must take bold action now to address the threat of fossil fuel pollution -- with stopping construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as a critically important first step.
"I could not have been more proud as I watched the protest unfold in the peaceful, purposeful spirit in which it was intended," said Sarah Hogdon, conservation director for the Sierra Club. "The conscientious planning so many of you contributed paid off with an orderly event, witnessed by over 300 supporters and more than 100 representatives of print, national broadcast, and online media."
Among those arrested were former Sierra Club president Adam Werbach, Nebraska cattle buyer Randy Thompson, labor leader Joe Uehlein, United Church of Christ Reverend Doctor Jim Antal, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., actress Daryl Hannah, and longtime NAACP chair Julian Bond.
"We know that enabling the exploitation of Canada's carbon-intensive tar-sands oil would be a huge setback for progress on climate disruption," Brune wrote in his blog. "It could undo all the real progress on carbon-pollution that the president rightly took credit for during his [State of the Union] speech last night."
Michael Brune, at fence, and others protested at the White House on Wednesday.