February 27, 2014

XL Dissent Gains Momentum: Over 1,000 Youth Expected at White House Rally, More than 300 Will Risk Arrest in Act of Civil Disobedience

Contact: Jamie Henn, [email protected], 415-890-3350

Washington, DC –As the fight over the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline seems be accelerating towards a final decision, protestors are turning up the heat on President Obama to reject the project with a major, youth-led protest at the White House this weekend called “XL Dissent.”

More than 1,000 students and youth from across the country have signed up to take part in a march to the White House from Georgetown University, where President Obama laid out his “climate test” for the pipeline this summer. Once there, more than 300 youth are expected to risk arrest in a sit-in,  the largest youth act of civil disobedience at the White House in a generation.

The young people represent over 50 colleges and universities and are taking action in solidarity with groups on the frontlines of dirty energy expansion and climate impacts, such as First Nations and refining communities, ranchers and farmers along the route, and those fighting tar sands expansion in Michigan and beyond.

Press are invited to interview students at the Thurgood Marshall Center on Saturday, from 1:00-4:00pm, or on Sunday at either the rally beginning at Georgetown at 10:00am or at the White House rally beginning at 11:30am.

Here is a full schedule of the weekend’s events:

Saturday, March 1
Location: Thurgood Marshall Center, 1816 12th St NW, Washington, DC

12:00-4:00pm: Fossil Fuel Divestment Meetup

Hundreds of students from across the country will come together to share strategies and tactics for the growing fossil fuel divestment movement that has spread to over 300 colleges and universities.

5:00pm-9:00pm: Nonviolent Direct Action Training (closed to press)

Students will take part in a NVDA training to prepare for Sunday’s sit-in at the White House.

Sunday, March 2
Location: Georgetown University to Lafayette Park & White House

10:00am: Rally at Georgetown University’s Red Square to kick-off the day’s events

10:20-11:30am: March from Georgetown to Lafayette Park

The march will begin at Georgetown University, head East on O St, South on Wisconsin, East on M St., East on Penn, and East on H St. to Lafayette Park.

10:30am: Rally Outside Secretary of State John Kerry’s House

Youth will rally outside Sec. Kerry’s house on O St. with a banner that reads “Sec. Kerry: Don’t Tar Your Legacy” to push him to recommend that President Obama reject the pipeline.

11:30am-12:15pm: Rally at Lafayette Park

Speakers will include youth leaders and representatives from communities that would be impacted by the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as those on the frontlines of other dirty energy developments and the climate crisis.

12:15pm-1:00pm: White House Sit-in

At least 300 youth are expected to risk arrest in sit-in on the sidewalk in front of the White House fence.


Student Spokespeople:

Nick Stracco, Tulane University

Nick is a senior at Tulane University and is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He’s been a climate activist for the last 3 years and hopes to be an environmental educator (and continue his activism) after college.

Miles Goodrich, Bowdoin College

Miles is a junior at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine and is originally from Connecticut. He wants to become an environmental activist and strategist.

Aly Johnson-Kurts, Smith College

Aly is a would-be sophomore at Smith College who is taking a year off to fight the climate crisis as the State Divestment Organizer for 350Vermont. She is studying to be an ecological economist. Aly was born and raised in Vermont.

Maria Langholz, Macalester College

Maria is a senior at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Maria grew up in Wisconsin and hopes to work at a hospital system in Minnesota doing sustainability work after graduation.

Ori Gutin, University of Maryland

Ori is a sophomore at University of Maryland and was born in the state. He wants to be an environmental educator after graduation.

Michael Greenberg, Columbia University

Michael is a sophomore at Columbia University, has interned with organizations like 350.org and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and founded Tar Sands Students.