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Protesters want Obama to back Keystone 0

DOUG HEMPSTEAD, QMI AGENCY

OTTAWA -- Across the street, behind the building, is not the most effective place to stage a demonstration.

That's the way the U.S. Embassy likes it.

But, that's where four people -- including three mute actors dressed in burkas -- stood Thursday morning handing out postcards urging U.S. President Barack Obama to back the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring oilsands oil to the U.S.

"We're trying to send a strong message to the Obama administration," said Kathryn Marshall, of ethicaloil.org.,"about the consequences of delaying the Keystone pipeline."

She said the pipeline could be delayed for two years.

"That's two more years that the United States will be dependant on conflict oil from some of the world's most oppressive regimes," said Marshall.

Ethical Oil began as a blog to promote the ideas expressed in Sun News' Ezra Levant's book Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oil Sands.

Marshall said the actors in burkas are meant to remind passersby of where the U.S. gets much of its oil.

"Saudi Arabia being one of those, where women have no rights and they can't do anything without the permission of their male guardian," she said.

The pipeline could deliver nearly one million barrels of oilsands oil to U.S. markets every day.

"The U.S. has an alternative," said Marshall. "They have their friendly neighbour to the north. We have lots of oil and we're an ethical supplier of oil."

Only a handful of people took postcards from the demonstrators during their half-hour protest on Sussex Drive.

Marshall said embassy officials and Ottawa Police would only allow them to demonstrate behind the building, on the opposite sidewalk near Major's Hill Park.

doug.hempstead@sunmedia.ca


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