Some 20 protestors met in a self-proclaimed flash mob at noon Monday under the Pioneer Square pergola, to protest the looming construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. If built, the pipeline would transport crude oil from Canadian tar sands in Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.
“Why burn the oil to protest oil?” said Joey Gray, in a light-hearted reference to the ongoing protests in Washington D.C. have been drawing people from around the country in recent weeks. Gray and the other local members of what is called 350 Washington State instead traveled just around the corner, to the State Democratic Party and Seattle Obama Campaign offices.
“We're here to implore our local Democrats to do their job,” Gray said. At the Obama campaign offices, Dustin Lambro, state director for Obama for America, fielded the protesters' questions and concerns. Lambro said he would pass the message from 350 Washington to his western regional supervisor in Chicago.
For the past two weeks the White House has been the site of numerous civil disobedience protests over the pipeline. As of early Monday afternoon (Aug. 29), 522 demonstrators have been arrested. Obama is under particular scrutiny now because his presidential veto could halt the construction of the pipeline, thus driving a wedge in tar sands extraction, which some scientists have described as “game over” for reducing our global CO2 levels.