LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Thousands marched in Downtown LA Sunday to protest President Trump’s executive order that would fast-track the production of controversial pipelines.
They marched from Pershing Square to the Roybal Federal Building.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen spoke to many of the demonstrators and one man who doesn’t see the problem with drilling.
Among the protesters was Minnie Ferguson who’s an educator from Highland Park.
“I think it’s very important for everyone who cares about life to stand up,” Ferguson said.
Organizers say this was the first protest in Los Angeles since President Trump signed the executive orders to fast track construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipelines.
Environmentalists say the projects would cause environmental damage and disturb ancient burial site.
Greg Brittain is a business and real property attorney. He says environmental impact studies have already been done on the pipelines which claim the pipes will not come close to any bodies of water.
“America has more energy in the ground than any other country in the word. And we should use it to create jobs for our people and prosperity for the country,” said Brittain, a member of the Redlands Tea Party Patriots.
“The little jobs they’re going to create are not worth it. They’re paying $55 an hour to pipe workers because they can’t get anybody to work out there. When they finish the pipelines, those jobs are gone,” says Gray Wolf with the American Indian Movement.
Brittain says all constructions jobs are temporary but they have a positive effect on the economy – especially when it comes to domestic oil.
“It helps provide energy security so we’re less dependent upon foreign sources of oil,” says Brittain.
“I think that would’ve been okay maybe 10 years ago. There are a lot of other alternatives,” said Ferguson.
The debate has led to months of protests in a North Dakota town – where the Standing Rock Sioux tribe has set up a camp.
The battle has been violent at times with protesters clashing with police.
Demonstrators say they don’t have immediate plans for more marches in Southern California.
But they say they will hit the streets if drilling were to restart at Standing Rock.