Shreveport group plans Baton Rouge trip to protest southwest Louisiana pipeline

    A newly formed Shreveport environmental activist group plans to travel to Baton Rouge to protest an incoming pipeline that threatens parts of the state’s wetlands.

    As The Shreveport Times reports, North Louisiana for Climate Justice—Shreveport-Bossier City’s newest environmental watchdog group—was created on Friday in Shreveport. Currently, about a dozen members strong, the group’s first mission is to tackle the Bayou Bridge Pipeline project at a Jan. 12 public hearing in Baton Rouge.

    “The purpose of this trip is to gather information and make connections with allies,” says Ron Hagar, a concerned citizen from Shreveport.

    Members have different reasons for protesting the pipeline—a $670 million, 162 mile-long route that will carry an estimated 280,000 barrels of oil through 11 southern Louisiana parishes. The pipeline is backed by Energy Transfer Partners Inc., the same company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

    That’s the reason Sonya Bratlie, one of the leaders of the group who has Native American heritage, wants to be on the front lines of the protest. In explaining why she’s against the pipeline, Bratlie references the rounds of rubber bullets, mace and water cannons unleashed on protesters in Cannon Ball, North Dakota in interactions with police.

    “I don’t want that company because of what they did to the Natives,” Bratlie says. “I don’t want that company in Louisiana. I don’t want them to touch us.”

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