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UPDATE: #Surround rally tonight

On the eve of the #Surround action against the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House, we are at the All Souls Church on 16th Street in Washington with about 500 others.

Bill McKibben wrote in advance, “We’ll be hosting a meet-up and strategy session the night before the action, November 5th at 5 pm. I’ll be giving some campaign updates along with a few other folks, and then we’ll break into small groups to discuss what’s next.”

Tonight, McKibben told those assembled that we are at about the halfway point of a big fight and the odds for us are getting better.

He highlighted to everyone that on September 26 in Canada more than 200 people were arrested on Parliament Hill in opposition to the tar sands and the KXL. He said on a per capita basis S26 was larger than the arrests outside the White House in the summer over a two week period.

And he said don’t let anyone tell you that if the Keystone XL is cancelled that the oil will just go to China – because for that to happen a pipeline would have to cross British Columbia and there is incredible resistance there to that idea.

Also here tonight are Clayton Thomas-Mueller of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Graham Saul of CAN Canada, Carleen Pickard of Global Exchange, and author-activist Naomi Klein.

Klein made the point tonight that Alberta is a land-locked province and pipelines are needed to move the oil. She said that tomorrow we won’t just have the White House surrounded we’ll have the tar sands surrounded.

The gathering then divided into discussion groups. The enthusiasm tonight is great and the commitment to tomorrow is strong.