Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 28, 2021

Why D.C. protesting should be on everyone’s bucket list

By RACHEL WITKIN | February 21, 2013

I was part of a drum circle this weekend, and it was magical. I never realized that banging on the drums in 30 degree weather while chanting “No more oil,” at the top of my lungs would be my thing, but it was everything that I ever wanted to happen. That is, everything except for the freezing weather.

I went to the Forward on Climate Rally in DC last Sunday to protest the Keystone XL pipeline. We walked to the Washington Monument, received signs for us to wave around and huddled right next to a fake pipeline. There were a ton of speakers, including’s Bill McKibben, actress Rosario Dawson and even an investor who proclaimed that the pipeline was not a good investment. After about an hour, I was more focused on the strange music choices (Chris Brown, really?) and the fact that I could no longer feel my feet. Note to self, purple Keds do not keep your feet warm.

Finally, the masses of people started to make their way towards the White House.  Since our feet were so numb, it literally hurt to walk. We made it as far as the nearest coffee shop.

When we resurfaced into the bitter cold, we were right in the middle of some amazing people. I even ran right in front of McKibben to get a sneaky iPhone shot of the environmental celeb.

While I’m glad that there were so many environmentalists (almost 50,000) in one place, for me this rally was more of a chance for me to experience hanging out with activists in general. Instead of doing my 600 pages of reading for the week holed up in Brody, I was in DC participating in the country’s largest climate rally ever. Now that’s actually an important educational experience that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on. And if anyone is interested in starting up a drum circle at Hopkins, let me know.

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