) KMTR — Hundreds gather in Eugene
today in solidarity with the 'Forward On Climate' rally today at the nation’s capitol, demanding changes be made to the fossil fuel industry.
There were numerous local activist groups out this afternoon. About 200 ralliers came out, including representatives from 'Idle No More', 'No Coal Exportation' and other environmental and social justice groups. Ralliers say increasing the extraction of fossil fuels isn't just an environmental issue, but a health and justice issue as well.
"We as a community should be able to stand up and say what we want and what we think is right,” says Elise Downing, one of those rallying. “This is our moral position and it is an important one. This isn't about just trees. This is about people, it's about our health, it's about our children and it's about the future that we all deserve to have.”
Locally, activists wanted to bring attention to the proposed increase of coal exports in the Northwest. Activists against the expansion of the coal industry say that more coal will hurt the local economy, lower air quality and would be harmful to public health.
During today's march downtown, ralliers made stops at businesses known for supporting the fossil fuel industry. The march ended with a small gathering in front of the W.O.W. Hall.