WASHINGTON - Thousands of protesters gathered on the Washington's National Mall on Sunday calling on US President Barack Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline proposal and honor his inaugural pledge to act on climate change.
Organizers of the "Forward on Climate" event estimated that 35,000 people from 30 states turned out in cold, blustery conditions for what they said was the biggest climate rally in US history. Police did not verify the crowd size.Protesters also marched around the nearby White House, chanting "Keystone pipeline? Shut it down." Among the celebrities on hand were actresses Rosario Dawson and Evangeline Lilly, and hedge fund manager and environmentalist Tom Steyer.
The event came days after a bipartisan group of US senators made the latest call for Obama to approve the $5.3 billion pipeline, seen by many as an engine for job growth and another step toward energy independence.