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'Cowboy Indian Alliance' Will Ride To D.C. For 'Reject And Protect' Keystone XL Protest

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KEYSTONE PROTEST
Indigenous leader Kandi Mosset was arrested at an anti-Keystone XL sit-in in front of the White House in Sept. 2011. | Shadia Fayne Wood

Another major anti-Keystone XL protest will hit Washington, D.C. in April, and it's bringing together two unlikely allies.

On April 22, the Cowboy Indian Alliance -- a group of of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities living along the proposed route of the Alberta to Nebraska oil pipeline -- is going to ride to Washington, D.C. and set up camp near the White House for their "Reject and Protect" campaign. They'll host anti-Keystone XL events for several days, and will conclude their stay with a march to the White House on April 27. The Alliance has encouraged thousands of activists to participate, and welcomes any allies to join them.

This rally gives a voice to the communities that would be most impacted by Keystone XL, and their message is clear -- to protect land, water and climate now and for future generations. The Keystone XL would cross several rivers and the Ogallala Aquifer, which would put wildlife, public water supplies and croplands in danger if a spill were to occur, according to the National Wildlife Federation.

“Dirty tar sands threaten our climate, and they threaten the health and well-being of the people who live along the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route," said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune in a press release. "For these families, nothing short of their water, land, and their children's safety is at stake.”

The State Department -- which is responsible for approving or rejecting the 800,000 barrel per day pipeline because it crosses an international border -- recently ended a final 30-day public comment period. Activists have mounted increasing pressure on the Obama administration to reject the project, delivering over two million comments on March 7 following a series of mass arrests in front of the White House earlier that week.

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