CINCINNATI, Ohio (WLWT) — Protesters gathered on the steps of Cincinnati City Hall Wednesday morning to voice their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline project. They carried signs that read “No DAPL” and “Love water, not oil.”
Native American activist G. Jheri Neri helped to lead the protest. He is unhappy that the pipeline would cross the Missouri River upstream from tribal land.
“For there to be a spill from that pipeline not only would it completely destroy all the water supply for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation, but the 8 million people downstream who are supplied by the Oglala Aquafer as well,” Neri said.
He called the turnout for Wednesday’s protest encouraging and hopeful.
Standing in solidarity with indigenous people and standing up for the environment were themes that went hand in hand at Wednesday’s protest. Doug Jose, with the Sierra Club, is worried about the environmental impact of the pipeline and the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
“We’re very close to a point where things will go out of control, and once they go out of control, there’s no going back,” Jose said.
The group has support at City Hall. Councilman Chris Seelbach is part of the council majority that sent a letter to Governor John Kasich – calling on him to bring home Ohio state troopers who are assisting police who are cracking down on protesters.
Seelbach said the council members who signed the letter were responding to the community’s concern.
“We did what I think we’re supposed to do as elected officials, which is to listen to them and decide if we agree with them, and if we do, then make our voices heard and that’s what we did,” Seelbach said.
Seelbach and the other council members who signed the letter said they would rather see Ohio troopers back here at home, working to tackle the heroin epidemic and a recent spike in traffic crashes.