They say people need to stand up and protect the environment -- and that’s why dozens of demonstrators say they joined the Grand Rapids Standing Rock Rises event Friday evening.

“Hopefully it will spark some hope in other people,” said participant William Loonsfoot. “See there is a possibility to make something happen.”

“So glad to be here,” added Joseph Quinn. “We want to show our support for this non-violent action.”

The Grand Rapids demonstration and others around the country Friday were inspired by the weeks of protest against the Dakota Pipeline in North Dakota. That effort was unsuccessful and oil is expected to start flowing through the pipeline in a few weeks, but opponents say there are still many other environmental threats.

“The issues are all around us, we are seeing them all around us,” said Karen Grah, who helped organize the Grand Rapids demonstration.

“We put this together because we feel very strongly people need to stand up and protect our natural resources and show we care about the planet," Grah said.

With the blessing of President Trump and the Army Corps of Engineers the Dakota Pipeline is nearly finished. Oil could start flowing through the pipeline by April 1.

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