Two 16 year olds lead hundreds of people in a march against the Keystone XL Pipeline today. Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and Lakota activist Tokata Iron Eyes chanted outside the Rapid City mayor's office about the pipeline’s environmental impact.
Tokata Iron Eyes chants a questions, then Greta Thunberg and hundreds of others follow.
The rally is full of teenagers supporting these young leaders. Iron Eyes says there’s power in mobilizing and voting in democracies.
“What are the things right now that are causing this crisis? Because it is not just one person, it is not just one corporation. All of us as humanity has a responsibility to do something personally. It is a personal choice.”
Iron Eyes protests against the now completed Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock. Now, she’s hoping to prevent the Keystone XL Pipeline. She asks the crowd to sit.
“Let's take a moment for all of the lands and the waters that have already been destroyed. All of the irreversible destruction that has already been made.”
The crowd is silent for a few minutes.
Greta Thunberg says building pipelines is helping to raise the global temperature...and she’s worried about all of their futures.
“We cannot go on like this. We cannot continue to build new pipelines. That is insane.”
The South Dakota Legislature has taken steps to criminalize protests against the Keystone XL Pipeline. Thunberg says people around the world are all dealing with climate change. When they support and listen to each other, she says things like pipelines and deforestation can be prevented.
“These are just symptoms of a worldwide ecological and climate crisis and we are all affected, we are all in the same boat. But of course some are more affected than others and we need to make sure that those voices at the front line are being heard.”
President Donald Trump approved the Dakota Access Pipeline and Keystone XL Pipeline in 2017.