What a day! Over 40,000 people, including over 200 Minnesotans poured into the streets of Washington, DC on Sunday 2/17 to push President Obama to take our nation “Forward on Climate” and say no to the Keystone XL pipeline. 70 Minnesotans departed on the “Earth Train” Friday, to enjoy two days of singing, story telling, teaching and visiting on the train. Over 100 more boarded two buses on Saturday to arrive just in time for the big rally. We represented with state signs, blue beanies, and good spirits all around. Included in our numbers were Marty Cobenais from the Indigenous Environmental Nework, Winona Laduke from White Earth, Minneapolis Representative Frank Hornstein, and many other authors and artists who rode the Earth Train.
The team here at 350.org had expected a crowd, but this was MASSIVE. Volunteers from around the country organized 130 buses to get people to the rally and it showed: there were people of all ages from Florida to Wisconsin to Minnesota to California here today.
Students and young people from all across the country, many of whom are hard at work running fossil fuel divestment campaigns on their campuses showed up in force. This is the next generation of the climate movement, just as comfortable negotiating in a board room as they are marching in the streets.
Our message for President Obama was crystal clear: time to live up to your rhetoric, take us forward on climate, and say no the Keystone XL pipeline. As former White House green jobs advisor (and movement hero) Van Jones said from the stage, “This will define your legacy, Mr. President.”
The speakers up on stage today represented the full diversity of our movement, from indigenous leaders across the United States and Canada, to clean energy investors like Tom Steyer, to environmental leaders like Mike Brune and Bill McKibben, to civil and voting rights activists like Rosario Dawson and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.
The march today looked like the movement that elected President Obama. Now, it’s time for him to join us in standing up to Big Oil and saying no to Keystone XL. Because this movement isn’t going anywhere. We’re, to borrow a phrase, fired up and ready to go. And we’re not stopping until the President takes action.
Reposted from Jaimie Hein, 350.org with Minnesoata updates from MN350 Julia Nerbonne