Stroll on State Seen As Opportunity to Start Conversation on Dakota Access Pipeline


“This is about walking down the sidewalk and getting a little message out,” Dakota Access Pipeline protest organizer Mike Barr says, speaking about the rally they’re planning for this Saturday.

The same day and time as Stroll on State, where an estimated 75,000 people could attend.

And it’s not a coincidence they chose that day to march to protest the pipeline.

“This is an opportunity to get our message out to a large group of people,” said Barr.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is a $3.7 billion project that would cross four states, including Illinois, threatening sacred Native American land, and would go underneath the Missouri river.

A potentially dangerous situation should the pipeline ever rupture.

“This would be an excellent event to try and stimulate some thought about what’s going on with this oil pipeline and drilling under what are some of the greatest rivers in the world,” said Barr.

However, their meeting place, the Riverview Ice House, sits on the footprint for the Stroll on State event.

And that’s something that the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau says will need to be worked out.
“We want to reach out and try to understand what they’re hoping to do and working with the city to try to find an alternate location, outside of the footprint of Stroll on State, for the protest to occur,” said CEO and President of RACVB, John Groh. 

But organizers say, they’re will not be there to cause problems, they just want to start a conversation.

“We’re not there to cause trouble,” said Barr. “Except in the sense that we want to cause trouble with people’s minds. We want to stimulate them to think.”

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