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Articles by Arnesa A. Howell

Arnesa A. Howell is a Washington, D.C.-based freelance writer who regularly reports on food, lifestyle trends and grassroots issues.

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An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 protesters converged on the nation’s capitol Sunday to press President Obama to block construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport tar-sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. 

The rally, which culminated in a human ring encircling the White House, was a sequel to August’s civil disobedience campaign, during which 1,252 protesters were arrested.

By 1 p.m., throngs of ralliers — wearing bright orange vests emblazoned with the words “STOP the Pipeline” — were already congregating at Lafayette Square Park across from the White House. Protesters from across the country and Canada waved signs opposing Keystone XL and chanted: “Hey Obama, we don’t want no climate drama!”

“Our dependence on fossil fuel is like a cultural addiction to harmful substances,” said Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, a Washington, D.C.-based Christian social justice organization. “This campaign is an intervention in the soul of the economy.”

Within earshot of the White House, the peaceful protest aimed to... Read more