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Eugene Shows Its Support For NoDAPL Protesters

A national day of solidarity was held today for Native Americans protesting an oil pipeline project in North Dakota.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, hundreds gathered in downtown Eugene to show their support.

Despite the heavy rains, crowds of people clustered under umbrellas and tents to voice their concerns over the Dakota Access Pipeline and its path through part of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.  The rally took place outside the U.S Army Corps of Engineers’ office, and was peaceful.

Among the speakers was Sara Billdt, a Eugene resident of Apache Yaqui heritage.  She’s pleased that President Obama has helped halt development of the pipeline until the corps has reviewed its options. 

Credit Brian Bull
Speaker Sara Billdt at today's solidarity rally.

“Rerouting the pipeline isn’t going to change anything, it’s just going to be affecting a different group of people," says Billdt. 

"We believe that the only way to protect the water is to stop all pipelines from being constructed and used, in the country.” 

Billdt says once Donald Trump becomes president, it’s uncertain how he’ll act given his business-friendly background.  In the meantime, she says she’ll help route supplies to the protest site, so native demonstrators stay warm and fed through the harsh winter.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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