Students Rally in D.C. for Environmental Causes

Last weekend students from all over Wisconsin traveled to Washington D.C. to rally against the Keystone XL Pipeline creation

The $5.4 billion pipeline is intended to transport crude oil from Canada to Texas and has been approved by President Barack Obama.

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Lirette UWSP students gather together at the rally in DC on Sunday.

Photo Courtesy of Natalie Lirette
UWSP students gather together at the rally in DC on Sunday.

“We have 13 students from Stevens Point going and we’re meeting up with other students in Wisconsin in Madison,” said Natalie Lirette, a sophomore studying water resources and physical geography at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

In D.C., the students along with other attendees participated in multiple acts to get their environmental points of interest across. They rallied in front of the White House to participate in public speaking events on divestment and marched from Georgetown University to the White House.

“Some people will be chained to the gates of the white house and people will be laying in front,” Lirette said. “This action was up for arrest because our permit did not allow us to be stationary on the sidewalk while protesting.”

The future will bring change to the environment and cause hardships to the living population.

“We want to show Obama that we’re here fighting for our future,” Lirette said. “To put that extra pressure on him to make the right decision and stick to his word.”

The Keystone XL Pipeline could create anywhere from 1,950 jobs for Americans in the first two years, according to the Washington Post. It would also contribute $5.4 billion to the economy.

According to the Washington Post the pipeline will span across 12 states, leaving many citizens are concerned about spills.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline does have very large environmental effects and that is going to affect us and the world we live in,” Lirette said. “Climate change is a problem that’s affecting everyone in this world, even though you may not feel it personally affects you, it’s going to be in the future.”

Members of the group that attended this rally are standing up for what they believe in, even if it means jail time.

“It’s important for students to know there’s a place to stand up for what you believe in and to not be afraid to take those steps,”  Lirette said.

Emily Margeson

emarg634@uwsp.edu

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