Post by Kara Dodson

You gotta love this photo.

(photo cred: Zack Gerdes)
This is the Richmond Rally to Stop Keystone XL – around 60 folks pressing Vice President Biden to reject the pipeline. Everyone is chanting, holding signs up so they’re visible behind the police cars, focusing 200% of their energy despite the sweltering heat and long wait. The signs say why we’re here and the intense energy says how serious we mean it.
Virginia climate activists gathered for Saturday’s critical rally and march to defend their coastlines, rural communities, urban centers, and mountain lands. For Virginians (and many other Americans), climate change is no longer a threat – it’s an actively destructive force. April Moore, rally speaker and longtime environmental activist, passionately described the “weird” weather  in the Commonwealth over the last few years. April spoke for us all when she described the remedy for climate disruption, “There’s one very important thing we can do this year. We will keep the tar sands oil in the ground!  We cannot let this Keystone XL pipeline be built. We cannot. We all heard President Obama’s promise last week that if the climate would be significantly impacted by the pipeline he would nix the deal. Well I ask you, would it significantly impact the climate! (YES replied crowd!). Are we going to insist that President Obama keep his promise to us? (another YES from the crowd!)”
The Obama Administration hears our call to action and has replied in significant ways this summer. With President Obama’s climate change announcement and VP Biden commenting that he shares our views on the pipeline, we know that bird dogging, mass protests, and petitioning works. We can’t back down. Herb Fitzell from the Richmond’s rally spells out why, “We know the power of the fossil fuel industry and their intention is to undermine the Administration’s efforts every step of the way. But we’re here to say, ‘We got your back Joe Biden!'”

(photo cred: Zack Gerdes)