McKibben and 100 Others Arrested at White House, Many Held Until Monday, “Lighting a Fire” Among Demonstrators

Bill McKibben sends this message from jail:

The only thing we need in here is more company. We don’t need your sympathy, we need your company.

The U.S. Park Police have decided to take a get tough attitude with those protesting the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline:

On a phone call late this afternoon, U.S. Park Police told organizers of the sit-in that the jail time was expressly intended as a deterrent for future participants.

The Park Police were especially concerned that sit-ins would continue during the week of events beginning on August 28 surrounding the dedication of a new memorial to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest exponents of creative nonviolence.

In multiple phone calls and in person meetings before today’s sit-in, the Park Police had previously assured organizers that participants in the protest would be facing a “post and forfeit” situation, meaning they would pay a $100 fine and be released the same day. While participants in this morning’s sit-in were trained the evening before to prepare for the worst, many were operating on the “post and forfeit” assumption due to police assurances.

How much better to clamp down hard on those trying to avert catastrophic global warming, than, say, those who are working to accelerate it (see “Tar sands: Still dirty after all these years” and Hansen slams Keystone XL: “Exploitation of tar sands would make it implausible to stabilize climate and avoid disastrous global climate impacts”).

You can get updates at Tar Sands Action. Here’s the latest, More Arrests “Lighting a fire”:

Below are old comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:

Show your support for this action by communicating with the White House, Members on Capital Hill and anyone else you can think of by email, phone and more creative ways that you can think of, today, tomorrow, the next day and until the end of the action. Demonstrate your support.

19 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 4:55pm

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

Absolutely, get in their FACE! Those folks deserve nothing less.

4 · Like · Reply · Sunday at 5:24pm

minority.report56 (signed in using Yahoo)

So the US Park Service is upping the ante by throwing people in jail and raising the fine from $100 to $600. According to protesters in DC, this is lighting a fire and inspiring more people to join the cause.


Well the Park Service’s action is having the same effect here in my home town. I’m aware of a number of residents who are banding together to support our local hero, a grandmother and much beloved science teacher who is in Washington right now planning to be arrested tomorrow.

It is hard to imaging the US Park Service throwing a grandmother and such a beloved member of our community in jail for taking a stand in support of clean air, clean water and a livable environment.…See More

15 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 5:56pm

Todd Tanner · Works at Freelance writer

My sincere thanks to the folks in DC who are working to give our kids and grandkids a fighting chance.

15 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 3:27pm

Harriet Barlow · Bryn Mawr College

Those of us who cannot be there should feel honored to make a signficant financial contributio to support those who are able to do this crucial work on behalf of us all and the planet. Give, encourage others to give and then give again!

14 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 5:05pm

Kathleen Fluegel

What the?!?#%!!

Like · Reply · Monday at 10:28pm

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

I don’t understand, you get arrested for participating in a legal announced demonstration? Isn’t demonstrating a civil right? o.O

11 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 1:23am

Rakesh Malik · Top Commenter · Photographer/Owner at White Crane Photography

That’s what I was thinking… shouldn’t it be the park police going to jail for violating the first amendment rights of the protesters?

1 · Like · Reply · Monday at 5:22pm

Linda Gonzalez · The job from HELL at You don’t want to Know

America! Land of the Free! Freedom of Speech! Where our Soilder die to keep our land free! Well think and! Freedom is but an illusion! Arrested for speeching really?

Like · Reply · Monday at 6:30pm

George Ennis · Top Commenter · University of Toronto

That chipping sound is President Obama’s support from progressives being whittled away.

10 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 3:44pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

I would just like to urge you all to view the video found via pages below on the debate between elders Canadian environmental icon David Suszuki and Thay Nhat Hanh a well renown peace activist and Zen master (He was nominated by Martin Luther King for the Nobel peace prize).


I have come through various stages in realization of what GW now means and our collective reaction in addressing it. Realization that this is a serios problem; frustration of the denial and inaction of so many; realization that it is not just a problem, but a catastrophe; what that means for my kids;.

Frustration, anger and despair. This conversation between David and Thay Nhat has brought me some peace and strength in dealing with the situation….…See More

4 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:04am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

One that I left out…. guilt.

Like · Reply · Monday at 1:09pm

  • timeslayer1 (signed in using Yahoo)

That was indeed very well worth watching. Made me feel better as well. Thanks Paul.


1 · Like · Reply · Monday at 5:48pm

Love Jordina · Being me at Myself

this noble citizens are manifesting for all of us rights and for Nature itself. While some are at the eating disgusting burgers or playing Nintendo, this brave and inspiring men and women are fighting for a better future.

3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 2:51pm

Joan Taves · Yachats, Oregon

Wish I was there — I would gladly be arrested for this cause.

3 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:38am

Dianne Rocheleau · Professor of Geography at Clark University

My friend Pat Benjamin is there today, and I stand with her and the others.Let’s all join the March on Sept. 3 and/or send money to fund travel for participants who live along the pipeline route to get to DC?

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:45pm

Dave Lambert · Berlin, Massachusetts

Pat’s photo:

Like · Reply · Monday at 2:33pm

Vickie Killion

YES! Solidarity for what is right and good!

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Yesterday at 12:49am

Jon Muro · Westport, Connecticut

good to see a bit of the ‘60’s” back again.

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 10:12pm

Debbie Carretto Miller · Ambassador at Amazon Herb Company

This is how women got the vote and it took one of the women prisoners refusing to eat to actually make it happen. This is most likely the only voice we have any longer since our elected officials are only thinking about the best interests of big oil and coal because of these companies oiling their pockets. I strongly support this peaceful sit-in. We need many sit-ins peacefully protesting big money, big food and all the other big conglomerates that are controlling our lives.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · 18 hours ago

Linda Gonzalez · The job from HELL at You don’t want to Know

Our country’s leader are putting our country to shame. Oh, they cry loud when other counties violate, infringe on human rights but American leaders do the same, the hypocrites! Here they are arresting people for expressing freedom of speech. Violation of Freedom of Speech! What are our soilders dying for?

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 6:27pm

Paulette Graf · Instructor/mindfulness at Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Bklyn & NYC

I am there in spirit, solidarity, and admiration. And proud of NY friends there including the inimmitable Nancy Romer seen on the video calmly being arrested in peaceful protest!

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 5:12pm

Mary Lou Church

I am very proud of my daughter, Cindy Parker, for taking part in this demonstration and getting arrested. We should all be there to protest!

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:59pm

Dick Carney

I know you’re proud of Cindy, Mary Lou, as well you should be. A smart, talented doctor with a strong social conscious. I’m proud to know her.

Like · Reply · Yesterday at 12:45am

Amy Bright · Tile and natural stone- Products specialist and sales associate at ST’ile

I have been signing everything and writing letters of support..GO PROACTIVE TEAM GO.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:04am

Doc Dan Burman

If jail is the out come then lets fill em up. To bad the police are standing for the destruction of the world.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:05am

Kathryn Sky Blaylock · Videographer/Editor at Skylock Productions

The last alternative to save our land, water, plants and lives.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 2:01pm

Kathryn Sky Blaylock · Videographer/Editor at Skylock Productions

Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline is proposed construction of the 1,600-mile long pipeline to transport oil from the Alberta tar sands in Canada to American refineries at the Gulf of Mexico…more oil spills and things of that nature right thru the center of our country! Is this what American’s want?

Like · Reply · 19 hours ago

Kendall Hale · Massage & Yoga Therapist at Self employed

Use all your media folks. And show up! Don’t let them intimidate us!

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 8:29pm

Greg Dalton · Vice President at The Commonwealth Club of California

What would MLK Jr. say about this use of civil disobedience?

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:45am

Christopher Winter · University of Iowa

He’d applaud it, I’m sure.

And how ironic is it that the reason the park police give for cracking down on these sit-ins is the upcoming celebration of the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.?

2 · Like · Reply · Monday at 11:08am

Dean Agiato · Senior Partner at Lehigh Valley Massage Associates

Solidarity brothers & sisters!

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 10:56am

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

Looking Good! Stand Tall!

Two Palms Up, Leif.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 3:32pm

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Yesterday 408 people visited this article from Bill McKibben at my blog out of those 8 people clicked the link to visit

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 3:58am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Also 8 people voted and this resulted in 4 out of 5 stars rating

Like · Reply · Monday at 4:01am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The article got 3 comments, all from people trying to spread doubt (not published)

Like · Reply · Monday at 4:02am

Carroll Straus · Top Commenter · Core Faculty at TUI University

“On a phone call late this afternoon, U.S. Park Police told organizers of the sit-in that the jail time was expressly intended as a deterrent for future participants.” Constitution? What Constitution. prior restraint” What prior restraint. FIRST AMENDMENT? WE DON”T NEED TO STINIKNG FREE SPEECH!

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:45pm

Lynda Bidstrup

We are loosing our rights~

Like · Reply · Monday at 2:47pm

Micheal Meginley · Top Commenter

President Obama ALONE has the authority to stop the pipeline. Will he keep his promises on the enviroment? No one can be blamed for this, not Congress, having 60+ votes won’t matter, Republicans cannot do anything about it. It is solely up to the President. So asking the Congress to do something is pointless, we must put pressure on Obama ALONE.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:07am

Clarence Feinour

I support their freedom to demonstrate, but not their ideas. Closing coal mines and shutting down drilling is killing american jobs. Our energy prices are soaring and will continue higher as Obama and his EPA clamp down on the coal industry and coal fired powerplants.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 6:44pm

Tenney Naumer · Top Commenter · Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Coal seems cheap until you realize that Illinois, for example, has 83 coal sludge ponds and more than half of them are not lined or monitored. That means there will be bad land and bad water. Who gets to pay for that? The coal company isn’t. That cost is going to come out of our hides. So, cheap coal now and pay for the destruction in the future. And then there are the strip mines. They never recover to become the fertile farmland they were before. People don’t farm on them — all that growing land is just destroyed. Who is paying for that? We will in higher food prices.The jobs being created now are in the industries of the future, not the past. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in the clean energy sector in spite of lack of stable subsidies (like the oil companies have received for over 100 years!). Our country has to look to the future and clean up its messes.

4 · Like · Reply · Sunday at 7:44pm

Patrick Linsley · Top Commenter · Plebian at W. W. Grainger

People who are sick from air pollution and lakes that have fish tainted with mercury are not helping our economy. Also we can act to prevent a super spike in the price of oil and gas by transitioning away from it now rather than trying to avoid it at last minute due to depletion and global events by taxing carbon and finding solutions NOW!

Like · Reply · Sunday at 8:40pm

Bill Runyan · Rhodes College

Keep dirty fossil fuels for employment?!!! Using your logic we ought to support prostitution in order to keep pimps employed.

4 · Like · Reply · Sunday at 10:19pm

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Billy Martin

Bill McKibben is the man — what did everyone else do this weekend? Take part in taking a stand — from Henry David Thoreau to Martin Luther King, Jr., civil disobedience has always been a great American tradition.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 8:16pm

Bill Miller · Top Commenter · Linfield College

Excellent. I also would like to put in a woed of commendation for the police, who seem to be handling this in as civil and polite a manner as possible.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Sunday at 3:35pm

Risa Bear

I was arrested by them there doing protest work in the 70s and found them civil as well — while doing the arrestingl. Parks dept. maintenance people and prison guards, on the other hand, were something else and quite willing to do criminal things to us. Imagine vigiling in Lafayette Square and having a pesticide spray truck hose you down instead of the trees, for example — in the eyes — under high pressure — OTOH, police watched the spreay trucks and laughed, no sprayer was arrested. And I saw a DC cop actually run over a vigiler with a motorcycle.

2 · Like · Reply · Sunday at 3:51pm

Bill Miller · Top Commenter · Linfield College

I keep hoping,Risa, that we have made some small steps as a society, and that such pettiness has subsided. Often disappointed, but ever hopeful, I truly want to see us. as a species, evolve in a positive direction.

Like · Reply · Sunday at 4:09pm

David Hedin · Luleå, Sweden

The lack of respect for the environment is the big social flaw of today. I think we can learn from the evangelical Christians that run abolotionism and got rid of slavery in the British Empire. The cause is just so just keep at it.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:12am

Melody Reed · Chester, Vermont

Where are the evangelical Christians on this issue? Most don’t even believe in the science^@#%&*!!

Like · Reply · Monday at 11:20am

David Hedin · Luleå, Sweden

I do my best in sweden to raise discussion, but sadly, as you say we are way behind! Some just don’t care but there is hope. Now even my dad has started to have “veggie monday” 😉

Like · Reply · Monday at 11:26am

Juna A Tabot · Las Vegas, Nevada

Sorry people, but until we have a better solution available NOW with respect to oil being used for transportation, manufacturing, agriculture, chemistry, et cetera, we will continue to need OIL. The Middle East is a powder keg waiting to explode. Without access to oil, there could be chaos. The tar sands in Alberta offer to double our Canadian oil supply I think up to 4-million barrels of oil per day. The U.S. still uses about 18-million barrels of oil per day. We produce about 5 million barrels of oil per day on our own, but the rest comes from Canada, Mexico, Nigeria, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. Iraq and Libya are the next places on Earth where conventional liquid oil deposits might be had in large quantities. Saudi Arabia has peaked and WikiLeaks proves that their reserves may be 40% overstated. Mexico has peaked. Ve…See More

Like · Reply · Subscribe · 9 hours ago

Belinda Rachman · Owner at Fair Divorce In A Day Mediation

The more people who go to jail, the more attention our side gets. Most people don’t have a clue about the ecological devastation caused by going down this stupid road. We have already hit peak oil, it is all down hill from here. Oil = death. We MUST get off the oil tit as soon as possible if any of us are to survive. I support all those who are willing to go to jail to make a point no matter what their position on any issue. If I lived near DC, I would be there too! If you need me to go to jail in Southern California, I will be happy to do so!

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 4:36pm

catman306 (signed in using Yahoo)

If we incorporated ourselves Earth, Inc. (If that hasn’t been used already) we’d have more sway in Washington, than a bunch of mere citizens. This government only respects corporations.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · 14 hours ago

Zo Owen

Thank you to the people who care enough about the small planet we call home, to stand for the environment….We need more people to get out of the myopic world of me and mine only…kudos to each of you.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 6:27pm

Karen Wolf · University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Thanks to all who are protesting against the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline in Washington, DC. They are working to protect our environment.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 10:58pm

Magda Maria · M*StarMusic&Languages at Self employed

What kind of a state is this, if people no longer may express their opinions in a peaceful non-violent way? This is REALLY scary!

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Yesterday at 6:59am

Mike Weidert

The US Needs To Draw A Line In The Tar Sand…No Keystone XL Pipeline…Not Now, Not Ever!

Like · Reply · Subscribe · 15 hours ago

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Where are the movie stars and wealth climate activist!

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 6:31pm

Raleigh Latham · Co-Owner/ President at Latham Film LLC

IS there any action going one like this on the west coast?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Yesterday at 12:27am

James P Casey · Retired!!! at Social Security Administration

Does the “O” in Obama stand for Oil?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 10:46pm

James P Casey · Retired!!! at Social Security Administration

TarOil: Is it Tar & Feather all of us while you Rape Our Planet? ETERNAL SHAME UPON YE! Ya bunch of bleedin’, greedy Gombeen Men! Is this the Church of Scientism in action? Have ye no Soul? No, you don’t believe you do. But We Do. And We Have A Mind. AND the END does not JUSTIFY the MEANS. Survival of the Fittest? Or the Avaricious? Is this Neo-Darwinist Fascist Dust Mite (No offense 2 the poor dust mite doin’ it’s job or any intelligent CoS’s or ND’s who are against it) Politics in action? What do you expect from people who believe this magnificent world & all its creatures are but some Random accident of a Snowball Meteor hitting a Vulcanizing Planet where this Alleged ‘Dead Frozen Water & Rock’(Who created it?) slams into our Roaring Dead Planet’(How can it be dead if it’s vulcanizing?) & somehow, this alleged dead water & matter created the Soup of LIFE, & the complex DNA within us 2 mention just a wee bit & down the road abit we have these Idjets trying to do something that will make the Strip Mines of the Coal Barons look like some kids beach castle on Coney Island. Why don’t we just Nuke it out? NO TAR OIL BABY! Not Now! Not Ever! STOP THE TAR OIL BABY BARONS FROM RAPING OUR PLANET NOW!!!!

Like · Reply · Monday at 11:48pm

Juna A Tabot · Las Vegas, Nevada

Gary Johnson — President 2012 — Conservative Republican — Mr. 740 Veto Governor — past Governor of New Mexico.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · 9 hours ago

Brooke Monfort · Austin, Texas

“Joy and resolve.” I love that. It’s the only place from which we can create lasting change in our government and society. THIS is the kind of behavior that makes me proud to be an American.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:32pm

Bj Myers · University of Texas, Austin, TX

I trully wish I had been there. At 71, it’s about time I got arrested for my beliefs. I protested Viet Nam and got and FBI for it. I studied in Yugolavia in 1966 and got a CIA file for it. I’m still fighting and still hoping.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:16am

Lydia Louise Alexander

I can’t think of a more fitting way to dedicate the new memorial to Dr. King! If he were alive, he’d be right there with the protestors opposing the pipeline.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:48pm

Lydia Louise Alexander

Related news: I remember reading the James Hansen take on the pipeline: “If the tar sands are brought into the mix, it’s essentially game over” for emissions reductions to levels that are safe for life in the long-term.

Like · Reply · Monday at 1:00pm

Roy Allan Jeffries · Eight Miles High School

President Obama, you wanted our support. We gave you our Support. Now we need your support. We are waiting. We are watching. Do we have your support?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 12:39pm

Darin Russell · 39 years old

is there A link to what the protest is protesting? kinda losses context if ya don’t know.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 2:18pm

Daniel Schaefer · Of My Choosing at Good Question

Did this appear on mainstream media?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 1:31pm

Drummer Jerry · Santa at Bass Pro Shops

Can the people stop big oil?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · Monday at 11:12am