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Activists Join Hands on the Sand to Protest Oil Policy

By Tom Watson on June 7, 2010No Comment

Mark June 26th on your calendars and hope for good beach weather – if you want to see a change in national energy policy, that is. That’s the day that the dream of a Florida pub owner to protect the the shoreline (and the livelihood of millions) from despoiling disasters like the Deepwater Disaster spill in the Gulf of Mexico comes to life. Volunteers from 26 states (so far) will join together in a national Hands Across the Sand protest on beaches around the nation.

The protest is the brainchild of Dave Rauschkolb, the owner of Bud & Alley’s Restaurant in Seaside. He organized the initial event in Florida in February – which brought protestors to 80 beaches around Florida before the Gulf spill made headlines. Now, his non-partisan movement is going national.

“The Deepwater Horizon oil rig’s sinking, and the resulting spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is a serious threat to the entire Guff coast’s thriving tourism industry and fragile ecosystem,” wrote Rauschkolb in the Tampa Tribune. “It is a shame it is going to take a spill of this magnitude to hopefully open our leaders’ minds to the risks oil drilling present to our coastal communities and fragile environment.”

Most of the organizing is taking place online via the Hands Across the Sand website and on Facebook and Twitter. The message is very simple and designed to get maximum attention from the media – and from state and national legislators:

This is a peaceful gathering of the people of the world. Planning an event is as simple as this:  Go to YOUR beach on June 26 at 11:00 A.M. in your time zone.  Form lines in the sand and at 12:00, JOIN HANDS.  The image is powerful, the message is simple.  NO to Offshore Oil Drilling, YES to Clean Energy.

As the gulf spill continues and the sheer enormity of the disaster becomes clear, Hands Across the Sand is emerging as one way for hundreds of thousands of angry and concerned Americans to take action – and perhaps, to change policy.

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