Created on: February 18, 2013
On Sun., Feb. 13, 2013, thousands of environmental activists traveled to the U.S. Capital on a brisk and windy day to protest fossil fuels and other issues associated with energy.
Carrying signs, the protesters stood in the near-freezing temperatures to demonstrate their concerns over the future direction of energy and government policies in the hopes of getting the attention of President Obama and lawmakers.
The event was called "Forward on Climate" and was organized by the Sierra Club, 350.org and the Hip Hop Caucus, along with many other partners.
A rally commenced on the National Mall at noon near the Washington Monument, with attendees coming from several states and Canada. Several speakers addressed the crowd including representatives from the event's organizers, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Steyer, Investor and founder of the Center for the Next Generation, Crystal Lameman, Beaver Lake Cree First Nation and Chief Jacqueline Thomas, Immediate past Chief of the Saik’uz First Nation in British Columbia and co-founder Yinka Dene Alliance, were some of the individuals to speak at the rally.
Protestors appeared to vary in their specific concerns if the signs they were carrying are any indicator. The signs that could be observed blowing in the wind included ones that targeted everything from the Keystone XL oil pipeline and tar sands to hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"), carbon, nuclear energy, "dirty old" and many other energy-related concerns.
A march commenced when the opening rally concluded. At this point, thousands of participants poured onto Constitution avenue to gather and proceeded to march to the White House, raising their signs in the air. Various chants could be heard such as "Hey, Obama. We don't want no climate drama", "Keep the frack out of my water", "We are unstoppable, another world is possible", and "The pipeline will fail, our planet's not for sale".
A large number of those present at the environmental rally appeared to want to address the $5.3 billion Keystone XL Pipeline proposal a decision which President Barack Obama will have to tender in the near future.
"The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis," the organizers stated on their website.
The New York Times noted in a recent piece, it is not an easy decision for the President.
President Obama has a "choice between alienating environmental advocates who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and perhaps lasting rift with Canada," said the Times' report.
Billed by organizers as the "largest climate rally" in the history of the United States, the number of attendees was cited by organizers to be estimated at about 35,000.
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