WATCH: Demonstrators strap themselves to White House fence to protest Keystone XL pipeline

Police arrested several hundred people who strapped themselves to the White House fence on Sunday to protest against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The protesters, mostly college students, participated in a peaceful march which began at Georgetown University and ended outside the White House.

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They chanted “climate justice now” and carried signs such as “don’t tarnish the earth” in their efforts to convince President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline, which they say will contribute to global warming.

Protesters were passionate, but orderly.

Police were waiting for them with buses and vans to speed the process.

The protesters cheered as US Park Police warned them that blocking the sidewalk and strapping themselves to the fence would lead to their arrest.

The Keystone XL pipeline would carry oil from tar sands in western Canada 1,179 miles (1,897 kilometres) to Nebraska, where existing pipelines would then carry the crude to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Canada, the oil industry, some union groups and congressional Republicans have been pushing the US for years to approve the pipeline, but a coalition of landowners and environmentalists oppose it saying the risks to the environment outweigh the economic benefit.

Obama has said he won’t approve it if it increases greenhouse gas emissions.

The project would ship 830,000 barrels of oil a day.

©2014The Canadian Press