Author, activist and founder of the global environmental movement Bill McKibben was arrested outside the White House on Saturday along with 64 others protesting the construction of a pipeline from Canada’s tar sands sites to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Vermont Law School professor and former White House official Gus Speth and gay rights activist Lt. Dan Choi were among those arrested. All face fines of up to $600 and two nights in jail.

Though the destructiveness of tar sand extraction and refinement has been well documented, the Obama administration is expected to approve the pipeline’s construction. More than 2,000 people from all 50 states were expected to join the protest through early September. –ARK

Rutland Herald Online:

McKibben and 64 other protesters kicked off a two-week sit-in at White House on Saturday to oppose a $7 billion, 1,700-mile oil pipeline planned to cross the nation’s Great Plains.

U.S. Park Police had warned demonstrators that each would be arrested and quickly released with a $100 fine for trespassing. But after authorities learned that more than 2,000 people from all 50 states plan to join the protest sometime between now until Sept. 3, they jailed McKibben and his peers until a court hearing Monday — all in hopes of deterring future participants.

The police action, however, didn’t appear to stop pipeline opponents. McKibben used his one phone call from jail to tell fellow protest organizers that despite heat in the nation’s capital, all arrested were in good spirits and urged their peers to continue on.

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