Hundreds of kids arrested at White House in Keystone protest

About 300 people were arrested at the White House - most of them students - in a protest against approval of the Keystone pipeline.

The reasons they oppose the project are so far out in left field, they aren't even in the ballpark.


More than 300 anti-Keystone XL protesters were arrested Sunday afternoon outside the White House in the latest push by environmentalists to convince the Obama administration to reject the Canadian oil pipeline.

The student-led protest, organized by XL Dissent, started with a rally at Georgetown University. The students marched from there to the White House — with a stop at Secretary of State John Kerry’s house along the way.

Students from 80 colleges participated in Sunday’s event, and another protest will be held on Monday in San Francisco, said Aly Johnson-Kurts, a freshman at Smith College and one of the organizers of the event.

“The youth really understand the traditional methods of creating change are not sufficient … so we needed to escalate,” said Johnson, shortly before she was arrested at the White House.

An organizer estimated the crowd at about 1,200 people. U.S. Park Police could not immediately provide a count of those arrested Sunday afternoon.

Organizers held civil disobedience training on Saturday to ensure that the demonstration went peacefully.

The crowd marched down H Street, holding banners and chanting songs. Some wore painter’s scrubs with black paint on them — “hazmat suits” with oil — while others held signs with slogans like “Keystone XL: pipeline to hell” and “Keep your oil out of my soil.”

A tide of energy undulated through the crowd as speaker after speaker got up to encourage them to risk arrest.

“I want you to know how important what you’re doing is,” Chris Wahmhoff, a member of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands and candidate for the U.S. Senate, told the crowd, holding a block of oil sands in his hand. “The sick people in Michigan, the sick people in Canada, they’re looking to you.”

“They say we are too young to make a difference, but we are proving them wrong, right here, right now,” Earthguradians Youth Director Xiuhtezcatl Martinez said to the cheering crowd.

“I think when the public sees college students coming out and getting arrested,” he said to POLITICO later, “people can say the youth came out. We were here. Because our generation will be the most impacted by whatever decision is made by the government.”

Got that right, dog. Except, not quite the way you think. While your chants are clever, did you ever stop to think if they accurately reflect the risk/reward calculus in whether the pipeline should be built?

If you want a perfect environmentally safe world, be prepared to starve, freeze, and do without your ipad, iphone, and Starbucks coffee. Intelligent adults - and I leave off most greens in that group - know that there are certain tradeoffs to be made when constructing complex industrial infrastructure like pipelines. Obviously, reasonable and well thought out regulation is necessary. But no regulation is going to make the pipeline completely safe and leak-free.

This kind of ginned up hysteria is common when environmentalists can't win on the economic merits of their position. It's a shame that there isn't more independent thinking among our youth who appear to swallow the green propaganda without batting an eye.