Rally Tally: 1,200+ people march in D.C. to break free from fossil fuels
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On Sunday, May 15, more than 1,200 people rallied in front of the White House and marched to the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to call on the Obama administration to stop offshore drilling. The rally was part of Break Free 2016, a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and to accelerate a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.
The rally featured speakers from Alaska, the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic – the literal front lines of offshore drilling disasters and climate disruption. They spoke of how their communities continue to cope with the dirty legacies of oil spills and face the permanent relocation of some Indigenous communities due to sea level rise and erosion. Despite these devastating impacts, the Obama administration announced a plan to open millions of new acres in the Arctic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas exploration and development.
Holding aloft hundreds of banners that read “Keep It in the Ground,” “Stop Offshore Drilling,” and “Break Free from Fossil Fuels,” the rally participants stood united in their opposition to new offshore drilling and signaled that our oceans and coastlines will no longer be treated as energy sacrifice zones for the greed of fossil fuel empires.
When the march reached the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus drew a parallel with the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech. Instead of equality, he said, the Keep It in the Ground movement is fighting for existence, and the hope that one day we will be fossil-free at last. Keep It in the Ground!
Photo credit: Eman Mohammed at Break Free (350.org).
Header image here.