Feb 17 2013: 50,000 march on White House in Keystone Pipeline protest

“Following Nebraska’s approval of the route for Phase IV of the Keystone XL Pipeline in January, about 50,000 people gathered at the Washington Monument and marched to the White House. Demonstrators demanded President Obama block the Keystone XL Pipeline and take action against climate change. Four-dozen protestors, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Darryl Hannah, James Hansen, Sierra Club Founder Adam Werbach, and environmental activist Bill McKibben, were arrested at the gates of the White House for civil disobedience.”  From here.

Do marches “work”? It depends what you mean by “work.” They can get media attention (but is that the most important thing?), and they can create a sense of progress and togetherness, displaying the strength of “the movement” to itself and others. But sometimes marches are done because they are the lowest common denominator, or because they meet the organisational and emotional needs of the movement’s ‘leaders’.

See when marching not a good thing…

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