Tellus

Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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DC: The perfect place for activism

This fall I went to the Tar Sands rally at the White House to help 12,000 other people ask President Obama to oppose the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This was my first ever protest experience, and it really was amazing. It was an absolutely perfect fall day, sunny and warm enough not to wear a jacket. I was so happy to be in DC where I could hop on the Metro and go participate in a huge movement of people who share my passion for the environment.

It was an incredible experience being a part of such a huge crowd of people from all across the nation and from all age groups and backgrounds. Many of the people there had signs or neon orange vests blasting their message to the world: stop the pipeline! I was trying to look every direction at once as I read signs and watched people react to the words of the speakers. As I people-watched and soaked in my surroundings it was fascinating to think about where these people may have come from and how one important cause brought so many different individuals together. It really was amazing to see this grassroots movement for myself!

Speaker after speaker called on the crowd to continue the important fight against unsustainable energy sources that contribute to global climate change. I know this sounds cheesy, but I actually got goosebumps when a speaker led the crowd in a passionate chant of “Yes we can, Stop the Pipeline! Yes we can, Stop the Pipeline!”

Environmental activists face many challenges when trying to create widespread policy and behavior changes that will benefit the environment. It will take the continued work of passionate activists like the leaders and participants at the Tar Sands rally to bring about the change the world needs. It was exciting for me to see so many other people who care about the future of our environment, and I’m definitely fired up to continue to work for long-term sustainability and environmental consciousness.

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