ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)-- "Standing Rock is symbolic of a lot of the fights we're going through right now against big money interest pushing their way through places they shouldn't be without the proper regulations without the proper oversight, without the concern for the lands they are affecting or the environmental damage they are doing," said Ronnie Thompson, a local poet and activist.
More than a thousand people have been invited to meet at Haight Park and march in downtown Rockford during stroll on state, making them more visible to a large number of people. The march is in response to the protests happening in South Dakota against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline is a $3.7 billion project spanning across four states including Illinois and going underneath the Missouri River, a water source for many who live on and around the Standing Rock Reservation. Thompson says it's important, even here in Rockford, to speak up; not just pretend everything is okay.
"Normalcy isn't an option right now,” said Thompson. “The world has gotten to be a strange and weird place and we can't just stand by and go through our daily lives as if that was normal. We need to be out making noise and making ourselves seen. In support of every fight going on right now, not just Standing Rock, but Standing Rock is important."
Those interested can meet at Haight Park at five for the rally and the march steps off at 6:30.