Another Day in Washington: About 50 Arrested At Keystone XL Protest

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Alex Rogers for TIME

About 50 people were arrested in a Keystone XL pipeline protest Friday, amid growing concern by environmentalists that the Obama administration will approve the project, which stretches 875 miles from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico. Around 12:15 pm, approximately 70 protestors rushed the DC lobby of Environmental Resources Management, a consulting firm which produced a bulk of the State Department’s March report that did not conclude that the pipeline should be shut down for environmental reasons.

The crowd was a part of the “Summer Heat” campaign and led by members of Greenpeace,, and Walk for Our Grandchildren. Organizers of the event claimed that over a hundred walked from Camp David to Washington, a 60 mile trek, in opposition of the pipeline, which they say violates President Obama’s rule that “it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Once inside ERM’s office, six locked arms in metal pipes labeled “No KXL,” blocking the elevator doors. When asked to leave, those that did not wish to be arrested set up a protest outside, and watched about 50 of their colleagues taken into custody for unlawful entry. Police brought in bull cutters to cut off the metal arms.

“Hey! Obama! We don’t want no pipeline drama!” the protesters chanted, led by the rhythm of tom-tom drums, and a single megaphone.  “Thank You! Thank You!” they cheered as their colleagues were escorted out in plastic zip ties. DC Police had three motorcycles and thirteen vehicles at the protest.

“They lied about their ties to over a dozen oil companies that would profit from the Keystone Pipeline being build,” said Zack Gerdes a 21-old Amherst student from Germantown, MD. “We strongly believe and know that the Keystone pipeline is a huge detriment to the environment and it’s going to exacerbate the problem of climate change.” In March, Mother Jones reported that an ERM employee who worked on the report had previously worked for the owner of Keystone.

“My future matters more than corporate greed,” said 14 year-old Anna Farlessyost from Mars Hill, North Carolina. She and her Dad Greg walked from Camp David to Washington, and Anna says her father knew he would get arrested for his actions. “He had that in mind as he came, and he’s ready to stand up for the planet.”


Alex Rogers for TIME

The protest was peaceful. “Our primary goal is protect first Amendment rights,” said Steve Sund, Commander of the Special Operations Division, for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Other office workers in the building complained about the disruption. “I was already in the building in a conference meeting,” says Billy Dodd who works as an intern at an energy company in the building, but not at ERM. “I looked down and saw these junkies, sorry, these individuals, expressing their First Amendment right. Which they have a right to do, but when they start prohibiting businesses from doing their daily functions that’s when I have an issue.” He added, “What about my First Amendment Right to go to f****** work because I have a job?”

The protest will continue tomorrow from Malcolm X Park to Lafayette Park outside of the White House.


“What about my First Amendment Right to go to f****** work because I have a job?” lol, so true!


Energy has driven the world for over a thousand years Wind, Hydro and Solar are the oldest forms of energy giving power to all smart enough to use it.

In the last 200 years Coal, Oil and Nuclear has given energy to many worldwide and great power and wealth to only a few. At the cost of many lives in coal Mines, Oil Spills, Radiation, Cancer and Polluting the Air and Water on all of the Earth.

Unfortunately for the wicked there is not an unlimited amount of oil on earth. Just the same as the Forest Trees that clean the air and make Oxygen we breath and all living on earth need to Live.  As some in denial are not able to recognize or ever see or live with blinders on.

Doctors and Drug  ceo's have been making millions prescribing drugs to many that live near or by High polluted areas that hurt breathing our lungs and harm our children and all. That we all pay for.When all they need is Clean Air and Water, and Clean Cities.

Now common sense would be for all to look for a clean fuel Wind, Hydro, Geothermal and Solar. Renewable Energy is eliminating the need for Dirty Energy Worldwide at a record pace. With Solar Energy Clearly the front runner.

   To the fear of some of the richest people on Earth. They to surprisingly are doing
something extraordinary investing in Solar Energy. After years of many of them trying to under mine it.

    Fuel that makes energy to ship goods, or make electric for homes and manufacturing. Can transform whole nations into prosperity and wealth or poverty and economic hardships for most all. Just as taxes on taxpayers has done. For over two thousand years. Making slaves of many to the wicked and unjust few. History Lesson Roman Empire, Persian Empire now OIL Empire oh sorry OPEC.

    Taxes and Fuel cost are two of the main things to drive up or down economic growth worldwide. When all on earth can see this. Why would anyone with a good mind and heart want, Teachers or Leaders  in any country or Nation to not teach and use Solar and Renewable Energy.

    For any teacher or Leader to think more Taxes on anything is going to help others. They must be on drugs or working for the devil. Thinking only of their future and their pockets. Taking from others weather poor or rich is not going to help the economic realities or the many worldwide struggling just to stay alive. All can see factories and businesses move to the next town, state or even a crossed the ocean. From where they once were to a place the taxes are less.

    All taxpayers would do much better with less taxes on their land as well as their paycheck. Let us all stand United that this is our home land as Heaven will be our home some day. Let us stop the wicked from taxing us out of our own homes and our land. As they can not take away our Bible tell every Leader we want "In GOD We Trust" on the front of Every Government Building in this Nation.

    Would you drive from Alaska to Florida or go 3,000 miles to buy your oranges or food? When you can go next door to California. Then why on earth would you go over 5,000 miles to get oil? Canada has been our friend for over 100 years. Has the Middle East? How much of your money has our government given and spent in the Middle East? 100s of Billions and the dollar count keeps going up every day. The number of our American sons and daughters blood shed there unspeakable!. Canada is our friend and has stood by
American side many times and is right next door.

    I for one like many Patriotic American's would love to see America stop using OIL. Yet know the day will come when the high demand and large volume use of oil well end. Till that day i am not in favor of giving my money or Blood Shed of anymore of our men and woman that serve in the Greatest Military on Earth to the Middle East.

    When there is oil next door in Canada, where anyone is free to carry a Bible and read it.
Without someone trying to kill you for doing so. Canada's Government was the first to use
Solar Energy (PV) on Earth to save money. On its Navigation Lights on its many water ways in the 1970's. UNITED STATES COAST GUARD CAME ON BOARD to Solar Energy in the 1980's, after Canada had already saved 10 Million Dollars in less then ten years. The world could have learned a thing or two about Solar Energy From Canada if its Leaders and Teachers did not be so narrow minded with blinders on.

Canada Knows that there is not a endless supply of Forest Trees or Oil.

Why on Earth would you go over 5,000 miles or more when you can go next door is ARE Government Leaders on Drugs. Or are some of them just trying to undermine it.

Do we want to build up or help the wicked or our Christen Friends next door? 

We The People Live by are Lord GOD and "The U.S. CONSTITUTION"







Negotiating with terrorists act of TREASON.

United We Stand In GOD We Trust

GOD Bless you for reading this.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
guide your Heart.

The Lord's Little Helper
Paul Felix Schott


Drill, drill, drill! If you freaks wanna walk everywhere, adorn you're houses (or huts) with windmills and solar panels, then have at it. But stop with the carbon footprint garbage and the manmade climate crap, because that's where you're credibility ends. The concepts of solar and windpower are as old as time itself. If they were the answer they would have already beenin place



What is manly, man? This sounds like road rage. Try thinking your way out of your paper bag. How about finding out how solar and wind energy are functioning these days. Times change, you might consider it.

SamNickels 2 Like

@manlyman Manly, you need to read up in the scientific literature on climate change. It is happening fast and will have drastic effects on our cities near oceans, on businesses, on local governments. We do these things because we are concerned that our children not have to birth children in heat that is 7 degrees hotter than now. That will force tropical areas further and further northward, with low-rainfall areas ahead of them, meaning drought will pass through the US within coming years. Not good for farmers either. More talk and less blame please. This is serious.

Sam Nickels, Harrisonburg VA 


oil companies make lots of money, and liberals hate people that make lots of money, therein lies the answer to all of your hate, and your whacked out disengenuous alternative energy and environmental garbage. No one has a right to occupy this planet except trees and animals according to you, I guess that explains your obsession with killing babies. If you feel so strongly about this then go out and make yourself a piece of hemp and hang yourself, get the hell out of the way of my and my children's future. Mankind couldn't destroy the earth if it wanted too, but it can destroy itself, which seems to be the course you freaks want to put us on. Go put your little grass skirts on and twirl in a corner til your heads cave in, but stay the hell out of our way.

roknsteve 2 Like

How much longer is alternative energy going to be held hostage by oil companies?  

blackjackpuff 1 Like

With Communist China controlling Canadian resources?  I would think twice about taking any oil from the tar sands.  PM Harper's FIPA deal with Red China means, China will be in Canada for 31 years. That's how long it will take China, to clean out Canada's resources.  Canadians don't believe China will ever get out of Canada. China is also buying up Canada's farmland. China has polluted much of their farmland and, 40% of their water.

Be very careful of what you wish for people. Be very careful.


Don't mistaken Alberta for "Canada", most Canadians are not insane oilmongers.


I work in this building, and the protesters were atrociously inconsiderate to everyone who works there. The building is ten stories, and houses many companies and organizations. In a wheelchair and need lunch? Tough luck, these guys barricaded anyone who couldn't use the stairs inside. Nursing Mom starved after pumping milk; tough, you need to walk down nine flights of stairs.

I'm an environmentalist, but I will never ever donate a penny to Greenpeace. I doubt anyone who works at 1776 Eye Street will either. The next time I see one of their solicitors on the street, I plan to tell them why.


Protesters specifically chose not to block anyone coming and going, nor did they prevent anyone from using elevators.  If they weren't operating, someone other than protesters chose to disable them.

landseye 1 Like

@napkatz I'm sorry to hear about people inconvenienced in the building, however, protesters did not prevent anyone from using elevators. If they were not operating that was because someone other than protestors chose to disable them. Protesters specifically chose not to block people coming and going.

SamNickels 1 Like

@napkatz Sorry that happened, Nap. We need to be sure those kinds of needs are met. No one had any intention of blocking emergency or other important needs. You have a good point. My son participated in the protest, and would have gladly let anyone through the line who needed to pass. Keep up the good work from the inside. 

Sam Nickels, Harrisonburg VA

shepherdwong 4 Like

@napkatz"I'm an environmentalist..."

Correction: "I'm a (self-absorbed) environmentalist who cares more about one day's personal convenience than the future of the planet and human civilization."


@shepherdwong @napkatz - Please don't lecture me about convenience.

You don't know anything about me. I walk 3.2 miles round-trip to a metro station every day, and then take public transportation to and from work. My wife works from home, and our grocery store is within half-a-mile of my house, which is a small townhouse (we don't cool/heat more home than we need).

You should be ashamed of yourself for leaping to such judgments.


@napkatz @shepherdwong

Commenters here like shepherdwong don't need to know you personally to criticize what you write here. They only need to read what you wrote. BTW, you keep mentioning, "You don't know anything about me," and then you proceed to tell us a lot about yourself. Do you see a disconnect here? Or know what TMI means?

SpencerJohnson 2 Like

@napkatz@napkatz With this pipeline approved, in the future, those nursing mothers will be nursing infants who contract asthma in the womb because the air and food quality is so bad. Need lunch? Too bad, because the Northwest farm and many other farms territories will be decimated along with the livelihoods of families who have lived there for generations. 

These "guys" as you so eloquently put it, are not "junkies" as this article suggests. So of them might not have jobs for one reason or another. But that will change eventually. Many, if not all, of them have jobs and families and have to work just like "Billy Dodd." Unlike Billy, however, who, let's face it, probably has a mommy and daddy who buy everything for him anyway, these people are on the front line dedicating their vacation time to raise awareness and fight the war against climate change. Why? Because they know the future of this planet is more important than corporate profit and greed; the life Billy Dodd probably aspires to one day live.

As an environmentalist, you should have listened to what they were saying instead of writing them off as "atrociously inconsiderate," which is a term you should really reserve for the oil and gas industry, seeing as they are mowing people down left and right, disregarding the rights of U.S. citizens, and ruining the future of our children. You should have taken the opportunity to learn more about the situation and educate yourself, rather than complain.

I'm an environmentalist, too, and I've dedicated hours to this cause. I'm 21. An environmental studies and writing joint major. I don't have a job right now, but I also have a minimal carbon footprint, don't spend money other than on used items, and contribute to environmental organizations via blog posts and news articles daily. I go to an upper-class institution along with brainless people like Billy Dodd who waste and ruin and disrespect the environment through "business-as-usual." People who mock me for the clothes I wear and the attitude I have toward authority and the thoughts I have regarding this "business-as-usual." But I'm the one who has taken off the mask, broken away from the matrix. I'm the one living in reality.

So if you're really an environmentalist, take off your mask. Realize what's happening. Put things into perspective. These "guys" are heroes, people you should look up to. These are the kind of people who will lead us toward the future our children and their children deserve. These people are my family. And I, and others will protect them. Because that's what families do. Stand up for each other.

I could engage in an argument, but I'd rather just give you facts. I've learned that arguing gets nowhere. So I say again: realize what's going on. Before it's too late. 



@SpencerJohnson @napkatz - Spendor, heroes would take their case to the red states that continue to elect representatives who couldn't give 2-cents about the environment.  Change public perceptions about environmental issues there and you've won. It's a hard task, but that is what heroes would do. I ran into two very nice Mormon missionaries on bikes today, both in their 20s, hard at work and passionate about their efforts. If your "heroes" had their positive energy, maybe they would succeed.

Throwing an impromptu party in an office lobby (that is under construction by the way - not really all that safe), and holding hundreds of building occupants hostage?  That's not heroic. It's what brats who don't want to actually engage in the real work do.

Please don't lecture me on carbon footprint. You don't know anything about me. I walk 3.2 miles round-trip to a metro station every day, and then take public transportation to and from work. My wife works from home, and our grocery store is within half-a-mile of my house, which is small townhouse (we don't cool/heat more home than we need). 


@napkatz @SpencerJohnson

The action did not intend that the elevators in the building be shut down. I was there when that was specifically stated. Protestors in the lobby were told not to block them and to allow traffic to get through.

The building manager, apparently, had the elevators shut down. Why, I wonder? You might ask the person who was responsible.


@napkatz @SpencerJohnson Napkatz, what makes you think we're not in red states knocking on doors? We are.

And even so, trying to switch red states to caring about the environment is extremely difficult when you think about the opposition: the Koch Brothers and ExxonMobil pump millions into climate change denying politicians. The system is rigged for the fossil fuel industry right now. This direct action was a way to bring light to the root of the issue: oil companies.


@SpencerJohnson @napkatz - Apologize? That's rich. Every one of your protester "friends" owes an apology to the people in wheelchairs who work in the building .Because your "friends" barricaded EVERY elevator, they were trapped in the building, and perhaps just as bad, trapped on their floors, as the elevators had to be shut down.

It's amazing how able-bodied people think it is OK to block things handicapped people need access to. Disgraceful really..

And I don't see how your protester "friends" are "risking their lives". Their activities seem like pretty safe yuppie stuff to me.

Outside of your protester "friends" acting like brats though, their strategy made absolutely no sense. The company they were protesting makes up maybe 5% of the total amount of people who work in the building, meaning 19 of 20 people negatively affected by the blockading of the elevators had nothing to do with what was being protested. That's 1900% collateral damage. Unacceptable and just plain stupid if you ask me.

Finally, I can't say I have much faith in the Summer Heat protests being productive; when the website states "We need some of you to risk going to jail", it just screams that the movement is trying to create rather than solve problems.


@IanOxenham @SpencerJohnson @napkatz - You weren't there so you don't know what you are talking about. The protestors blockaded all of the elevators, forcing them to be shut down. If you were in a wheelchair, a leg cast, or maybe just unable to walk down lots of stairs, you were essentially trapped in the building.

This might come as a surprise to you, but some people can't pull off an 18 story round-trip.

As for the protest photos, they were having fun. You can tell. Far easier than working the street corners, and actually trying to win people to your cause...


@SpencerJohnson @napkatz

"Holding...occupants...hostage. Are you familiar with the word "hostage? ( They didn't hold people hostage, you said yourself there was an elevator. And I quote "you need to walk down nine flights of stairs." That implies there in fact was an exit. Thus, not a "hostage" situation."

On a similar note, I would like to point out that "impromptu party" is, by definition, the exact opposite of what the action was, since by definition "impromptu" means "
Prompted by the occasion rather than being planned in advance" (, while this was a planned civil disobedience action -- which is a very serious thing, not "A social gathering especially for pleasure or amusement."  You don't willingly get arrested and go to jail for fun.

SpencerJohnson 2 Like

@napkatz @SpencerJohnson@napkatz@SpencerJohnson Currently,'s event Summer Heat is happening. We've taken this discussion to "the red states" the blue states and the purple states, too. Changing the public perception is difficult when those meant to oppose and regulate big business and corporate entities are making back deals with congress.

The Mormon missionary anecdote has nothing to do with the environment; mormons aren't making environmental differences (

These people are dedicating their lives to this cause. They aren't just out protesting, they are constantly in the loop online, active on social media, and sending more letters to the editor than you wrote in your entire college career.

 Again, the building under construction is irrelevant unless it looks like the dungeon from Game Of Thrones they kept Tyrion Lannister in (

Holding...occupants...hostage. Are you familiar with the word "hostage? ( They didn't hold people hostage, you said yourself there was an elevator. And I quote "you need to walk down nine flights of stairs." That implies there in fact was an exit. Thus, not a "hostage" situation.

I wasn't lecturing. I commend you for your efforts to walk 3 miles to work and taking public transportation. Good on you. But just saying you "go to a grocery store" sort of hurts that. You should be going to farmer's markets. I'll point some out if you want to know where the nearest ones are.

I'm not here to argue, brother. I just want to show you your first comment was ill-thought out and I'd like an apology for my friends, who are risking their lives so that your kids and their kids can have a better future.

yogi 1 Like

...Billy Dodd who works as an intern..

Didn't KTVU-TV show that isn't never smart to use an intern as a source? But that is an amazing quote you got from him.

yogi 1 Like

*that it's never