Activist arrested in Washington

08/25/2011

Local environmental activist Bing Gong was arrested on Monday outside of the White House, in Washington, D.C., while protesting the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport crude oil from large reserves in Canada to U.S. refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Gong, who traveled to the capital with the intention of being arrested, said the process went as well as could be expected. “The hardest part was being handcuffed with plastic ties, cutting into the wrist, and being cramped into the hot paddy wagon,” he wrote in an email. The 72-year-old was released three hours later after paying a small fine. The project, yet to be approved by President Obama, has been lambasted by environmentalists who allege it will cut through seismically active zones, harm sensitive wetland ecosystems and likely detract from ongoing efforts to adopt new and clean energy alternatives. Protestors, including Bing, who was in a sixth-floor bathroom at the time, were neither harmed nor deterred by Wednesday’s 5.9 earthquake, which struck Virginia and caused the precautionary evacuation of all government personnel in the White House. They plan to continue the sit in through the end of the month.