Frigid wind gusts didn’t keep rally participants from converging around the National Monument yesterday to join environmental activist Bill McKibben in a united effort to call on the President of the United States to take action and address the urgent need for immediate action on climate change.
At a mass of an estimated 20 to 50,000, the Forward on Climate rally brought supporters from all over the nation. “The biggest climate rally by far, by far, by far in U.S. History,” said McKibben in his address to the cheering, heavily-bundled crowd.
The top priority of the rally was the looming decision to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
“The first thing the pipeline runs over if he lets it go through,” said activist Van Jones, “will be the credibility of the President of the United States of America.”
“If the President were to reject the building of the Keystone pipeline,” said McKibben at yesterday’s rally “he would become the first world leader to veto a big project because it’s bad for the climate.”
Three days ago, during a protest against the pipeline, McKibben was arrested for participating in civil disobedience alongside other climate activists who refused to move from their post outside the front of the White House.
Other speakers included actress Rosario Dawson, Canadian first nation chief Jackie Thomas, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Latino advocate Maria Cardona, Sierra Club Director Michael Brune and more. The event was a unified effort by the Sierra Club, 350.org and Hip Hop Caucus.
After the speakers finished, the crowd moved in a “human pipeline” that proceeded all the way to the White House and gathered, as one voice formed by the power of many, to face the man in the White House.
It’s time to face the issue head on.
Your move, Mr. President.