This Saturday, a crowd of over 60 (including roughly 25 Wesleyan students) rallied in Middletown against the Keystone XL Tarsands Pipeline. The pipeline, which would carry an especially nasty and energy intensive type of oil from indigenous lands in Alberta across the American prairie to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico, has been derided by climate scientists as an extraction project that would spell “game over for the planet”.
The energetic march rallied on High Street before marching 1.5 miles up Washington to target TD Bank, one of the primary financiers of the pipeline project. The protesters held signs and banners, formed a picket outside the bank, chanted slogans, and distributed fliers to customers urging them to divest from TD Bank and join local credit unions, which are not-for-profit and member-run. The rally drew participants from all over the state including a number of Middletown locals.
Saturday’s action was one in a long series of Wesleyan students mobilizing on this issue. Back in February, over 50 students boarded a bus to DC to take part in what was the largest climate rally in US history. And in recent semesters WesDivest, a new student group dedicated to getting the administration to pull our endowment dollars out of fossil fuels, has been agitating tirelessly in the tradition of the historic divestment campaign of the ’80s and ’90s that succeeded in getting Wesleyan to stop funding South African apartheid.
The action was coordinated by the Connecticut-based group Capitalism vs. the Climate, which was founded in part by recent Wes alum Dan Fischer ’12. The group aims to confront the root economic causes of climate change.
More coverage of the march from The Argus here. Thanks to Ben Martin of 350.org for the pictures.