ProtestProtesting is serious business, but it’s fun too.Photo: Jennifer PredigerThis past weekend marked the end of phase one of the Tar Sands Action. During the two-week-long surge of civil disobedience in front of the White House, 1,253 people were arrested, including NASA scientist James Hansen, actress Daryl Hannah, and protest organizer Bill McKibben. They sent a loud and clear message to President Obama that they want him to veto the proposed XL Pipeline that would carry tar-sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

McKibben spoke to Grist on the last day of protests, which he described as “chaotic and beautiful.” Said McKibben, “This is the biggest civil disobedience action of any kind this century in this country.”

Watch the video here:

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

So what’s phase two? According to McKibben, “We’re still planning something big for Oct. 7 or 8 — Oct. 7 is the date of the last State Department hearing in Washington, D.C. — but first we need to go back into our communities to keep building this movement.”

To learn more about the ongoing and upcoming Tar Sands Action, go to