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'Mobilized and Unafraid': Nationwide Vigils Against Keystone XL

'What counts in moments like these are not the words in Washington’s reports, but rather the voices of people in the streets—that’s what changes the equation for the President.'

- Lauren McCauley, staff writer

(Photo: SanDiego350.org/ Facebook)"Mobilized and unafraid," thousands of demonstrators from Anchorage, Alaska to Belfast, Maine are expected to rally in over two hundred vigils across the country Monday evening, adding their voices to the growing chorus urging President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

Following the Friday release of the State Department's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, environmental groups have issued a rallying cry for concerned citizens across the country to tell President Obama to be a climate champion and reject the pipeline.

"It takes a movement," 350.org founder Bill McKibben tweeted, adding, "please attend one of the vigils tonite."

"What counts in moments like these are not the words in Washington’s reports, but rather the voices of people in the streets—that’s what changes the equation for the President," writes 350.org online organizer Duncan Meisel. 

"Today is just the starting point for the next crucial phase of this fight," Meisel continues in an email promoting the day of action. "We will light the night with our resolve to keep fighting. We need to show the media, big oil and the President that this movement is mobilized and unafraid."

Ahead of the vigils, organizers and attendees promoted local actions on Twitter. A list of all planned events can be found here.

According to green groups, the FEIS provides President Obama ample evidence that the project will contribute significantly to global warming, giving him clear reason to reject the pipeline.

Rebuking the argument made by Keystone XL advocates that pipeline transport is "safer" than the alternative of rail transport, the groups are saying that the pipeline must be rejected so that "dirty" tar sands oil stays in the ground.

"Keystone XL is a critical piece in big oil’s plan to dig up and burn all of the tar sands. We’ll continue to face them down on other fronts too -- East, West, South; by rail or pipe -- to keep this oil in the ground," writes Meisel.

The events are organized by CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, 350.org, The Other 98%, Center for Biological Diversity, Oil Change International, Bold Nebraska, Energy Action Coalition, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Hip Hop Caucus, Overpass Light Brigade, Environmental Action, League of Conservation Voters, Waterkeeper Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Forest Ethics, Forecast the Facts and others.

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