Police arrest Julian Bond for civil disobedience
Former University professor protests Keystone XL pipeline with 47 others
Former University History Prof. Julian Bond, also known for his civil rights activism, was arrested Wednesday while protesting the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline along with 47 other people. Other prominent activists placed under arrest included former Congressman Robert Kennedy, Jr. and actress Daryl Hannah.
The Keystone XL pipeline, intended to run from Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast of Texas, has generated controversy among environmental activists across the nation due to a heightened risk of oil spills and increased emissions.
Bond, who has a history of civil disobedience dating back to his forming of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee during the civil rights movement, has been a spokesman for a variety of causes, including gay rights, ending the Vietnam War and most prominently the advancement of civil rights for African-Americans.
Though he is not known for promoting environmental causes, this activity is not out of character, said Deborah McDowell, director of the University’s Carter G Woodson Center for African-American and African Studies and Bond’s former colleague. The University declined to comment on the incident.
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune was also arrested during the demonstration, a significant departure from the Sierra Club’s generally tamer forms of advocacy. This marks the first civil disobedience arrest in the club’s history.
According to an Associated Press report, the activists were charged with failure to disperse and disobedience of lawful orders, but were all released on bail.