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Join a Netroots conversation on lessons from the Keystone XL fight

Posted Jun. 7, 2012 / Posted by: Kelly Trout

Greetings from Providence, Rhode Island! I’m here today with Friends of the Earth communications manager Kelly Trout for Netroots Nation, an annual national conference of progressive bloggers, media, grassroots organizations and individual activists from across the spectrum of political issues and social justice work.

I worked with allies in the fight to stop the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline to organize a panel for this morning’s session called “Handcuffs, Conventional Wisdom and Dirty Oil: Activism’s Big Win Against the Keystone XL Pipeline.” The panel, which I’ll co-moderate with Brad Johnson, campaign manager for Forecast the Facts, will focus on the key role that escalated, local-to-national grassroots activism played in forcing -- against long odds -- President Obama’s initial rejection of a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline on January 18, 2012. If you’re at Netroots Nation, you can join us at 10:30 a.m. today in Ballroom A. You can also watch the panel via a recorded (updated) video below.

The panelists, including Bill McKibben of 350.org, Jane Fleming Kleeb of BOLD Nebraska, Becky Bond of CREDO Mobile and Ben Powless of the Indigenous Environmental Network, will discuss key elements -- from sustained sit-ins at the White House to creative state organizing to bird-dogging to coordinated donor pressure -- that came together to form a grassroots force with which President Obama had to reckon. We’ll also look at where the Keystone XL fight, one inextricably linked to struggles for a safe climate and environmental justice, stands now, as well as debate how its lessons can be applied to achieve lasting wins -- not only in stopping destructive dirty energy projects like the tar sands but also in securing clean and just climate solutions.

Watch: Recorded video of the Netroots Nation panel

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