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350.org Organizes Largest Climate Rally to Take Place in Washington
Thousands of Americans will take to the streets of Washington, DC to demonstrate their opposition of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline on Feb. 17. In coordination with grassroots organizations, 350.org, Sierra Club and Hip Hop Caucus, the rally titled Forward on Climate, is scheduled to begin at noon outside the Washington Monument and will complete a march to the White House in an effort for climate activists to openly support climate solutions and hold President Obama accountable for taking action during his second term.
What is said to be the "largest climate rally in U.S. history," Forward on Climate will be comprised of tens of thousands of participants, many who will be bused from 28 of the states along with celebrity climate activists and representatives from hundreds of grassroots organizations. The diverse and progressive movement is a chance for Americans to rally together and show their support for climate change by convincing President Obama to take the first step—stopping the construction of Keystone XL—to help solve the global climate crisis, according to 350.org’s press release.
"As a movement, we have the opportunity to move the President from words to action on the greatest challenge of our time, starting with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline," May Boeve, from 350.org, wrote on the website's blog, Ripple Effects.
TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is planned to run from Alberta, Canada breaking ground in many states before it reaches the Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline will export the cheap Canadian crude where it will be refined into diesel for export purposes only, according to 350.org. Tar sands crude, which is said to be the “dirtiest oil on earth,” consists of heavy metals and cancer-causing toxins causing negative climate implications not to mention the consequential health risks to people. According to 350.org, Keystone XL supporters are not measuring the impact it will have on wildlife, increased carbon emissions or the ever-growing pollution debate among other climate impacts as the pipeline is designed to cross through America’s “agricultural heartland.”
As grassroots activists remain on the “frontline of the movement to stop climate disruption,” the Forward on Climate rally's common goal is to demand decisive actions in 2013 as way to reduce carbon pollution in an uncertain future for global climate.
“Just over a year ago, 15,000 people surrounded the White House—and President Obama listened, delaying the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This is our best chance to show the President how strong this movement has become since then,” 350.org stated in their press release.
The organization also started an open letter to President Obama urging him to "end the detrimental 'all the above' energy policy if his first term." The progression of the letter is close to reaching the 70,000 signatures the organization set to reach, according to its website.
While President Obama opened his second term with an outward determination to make climate changes a priority, grassroots activists are seeing to it that he keeps his word. The Forward on Climate rally is just one of many campaigns and projects organized by 350.org and slated for 2013.
For more information regarding the rally, follow the hashtag #ForwardonClimate via Twitter or click here for answers to Freguently Asked Questions.