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UPDATE: ‘No Keystone XL’ protest to encircle the White House, Nov. 6

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Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and 350.org founder Bill McKibben

Bill McKibben, who was central in the organizing of the recent protests against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, writes, “It’s very important that we continue thinking and acting big, because we don’t have much time: the President will be making a decision by the end of the year.”

1-“We’re going to continue showing up at Presidential events (there were 4 different rallies like this in just the past 3 days) to bring our message directly to the president and the national press. Our organizing team is tracking his appearances, and if the President is coming to your neighborhood, they’re ready to help you get his attention.”

2-“We’re also going to step up our actions at local Organizing for America offices. This is our best way to reach the President’s political advisors who will play a key role in the final decision.”

3-“On October 7th, our friends in DC are holding a big rally outside the last State Department hearing, which is going to kick off a month of organizing across the country leading up to November 6th.”

4-“Over 1000 people have already signed up for our big action on November 6th, one year from the next election, when we’re going to try to encircle the White House in a giant, solemn protest. We’ve never tried something this big before – our goal here is to make it clear just how big this movement is, as a reminder to the President that this pipeline is a threat to both our communities and his reelection chances. We don’t have all the plans worked out, but here’s what we do know: this will be a daytime protest that will last for several hours, and you’ll be able to participate without risking arrest.”

To find out more about the November 6 action, go to http://www.tarsandsaction.org/sign-up.

In late-August, the Toronto Star reported that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US President Obama will meet early this fall to discuss perimeter security. No specific date or location was noted in the article, though it does appear now that the meeting might be delayed. Still, the planned meeting is notable because the Harper-Obama meeting may still occur prior to ‘end of the year’ date for Obama making a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline. When Harper last met Obama at the White House in February to sign the perimeter security declaration, he lobbied the president to approve the pipeline. Harper recently stated that the approval of Keystone XL was a “complete no-brainer” given the US demand for energy.

On August 31, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow and climate justice/ energy campaigner Andrea Harden-Donahue joined the protests in Washington, DC against the Keystone XL pipeline. For more on that, please go to http://canadians.org/blog/?p=10223.