Sunday's Tar Sands Protest. photo by Josh Lopez

This morning, while 50 of their friends faced another day in jail, 45 more Americans were arrested as part of an ongoing sit-in at the White House. The DC Park Police have been telling organizers of the sit-in that they were keeping the first wave of demonstrators in jail to deter people from taking part in the civil disobedience. In fact, the arrests have just the opposite effect.

“Saturday’s arrests and overnight jailings are already lighting a fire,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, who was arrested Saturday. “More people are now inspired, determined, and committed to join. On Monday alone over 20 DC-area doctors, lawyers and students will be going to jail to chant, sing, and stop the pipeline. They’ll be joining Nebraska ranchers and others nationwide. Word is spreading.”

Tidwell was released from jail Saturday evening along with 9-12 DC residents. Among those still being held at Central Cell Block was writer and environmental activist Bill McKibben who is spearheading the protests.

Another 50-100 people will be taking part in a civil disobedience training this evening at a DC church in preparation for Monday’s sit-ins. Among those preparing for arrest are a group of Nebraska farmers and ranchers who have been working to resist the proposed pipeline back in their home state.

“Nebraskans are counting on President Obama to do the right thing,” said Jane Kleeb, Director of Bold Nebraska, who will be risking arrest on Monday. “Back home we are fighting to protect our land and water. We decided to bring that fight to the President’s doorstep because our families’ legacies, those that homesteaded the very land now threatened by a foreign oil company, are too important for us sit on the sidelines. We are acting on our values and expect our President to act as well.”

“Fight, Fight Fight!”
Timed to coincide with the events in DC is the Stop the Pipeline Tour. Four landowners are taking their message along the pathway of the pipeline to visit with their neighbors about the dangers that Keystone XL presents.

“Like many along the proposed route, we’re standing up to defend our rights and oppose this dangerous pipeline. We want water that’s safe to drink, land that’s fit for our families, and a way of life free from the threats and harassment of a foreign corporation,” said David Daniel, a Texas landowner fed up with TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline.

Check out this video from their first Tour event.