For the first time in the Sierra Club's 121-year history -- and only 164 years after Henry David Thoreau's famed treatise on the topic -- the executive director of the organization will be arrested in an act of civil disobedience.
The event (which entices members of the press with a promise of "great visuals") will happen shortly before noon today outside of the White House. The issue spurring such drastic action by Sierra Club director Michael Brune is the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, meaning that Brune will be something like the 1,200th person arrested at the White House protesting that issue.
Brune will be joined by about 50 others, including Bill McKibben of 350.org (and Grist's board), civil rights leader Julian Bond, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and actress Daryl Hannah (who has been arrested at a White House Keystone protest before). Also included at the event: Randy Thompson, a Nebraska rancher who has emerged as a leader in that state's fight against the pipeline. According to Fortune magazine, fund manager Jeremy Grantham also plans to participate. "I have told scientists to be persuasive, be brave and be arrested, if necessary, so it only seems proper to do this," Grantham told the magazine. (Full disclosure: Grantham's foundation is a funder of Grist.)