Over 200 people rallied against the Keystone XL pipeline in downtown Chicago this past Sunday at an event organized by Chicago Youth Climate Coalition (CYCC), comprised of students from Chicago colleges and universities, including UChicago. Their march from Grant Park to Freedom Plaza was held in solidarity with the much larger “Forward on Climate Change” rally in Washington, D.C.
Both rallies urged President Obama not to allow construction of the pipeline, which would send fuel from tar sands in Canada all the way to Texas. Environmentalists claim the exploitation of tar sands resulting from the pipeline would create a catastrophic amount of carbon emissions, and the pipeline would reduce incentive to explore alternative sources of energy.
Fourth-year UChicago Climate Action Network (UCAN) member Sandy Carter attended the D.C. rally along with four other UCAN members. With 35,000 attendees, organizers called it the largest climate change rally in history.
“It’s amazing to stand in a crowd of thousands and thousands of people and know that you are all there because you all want to build a better future for our generation and for future generations,” Carter said.
Fourth-year UCAN member Marissa Lieberman-Klein worked with the CYCC to set up the solidarity rally for Chicago residents who could not go to D.C.
“I think [the rally] managed to show that people across the country care about this issue, and that it affects all of us, and that this is really a national issue, and that there is broad national support against the pipeline,” she said.