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Pipeline protesters gather outside Rochester's federal building

Randy Gorbman

About 50 people protested outside the federal building in Rochester late Friday afternoon in connection with a number of environmental issues.

The protest on State Street was an effort to get more people to oppose recent actions from the Trump Administration to expedite approval of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL  pipelines, as well as addressing other environmental issues.

One of the demonstrators, Linda Pratt, says it’s just addressing some basic needs.

“Like my sign says,  I’m here for clean air, clean water , clean soil,  and any kind of pollution that goes through this, is going to affect our food source, it’s going to affect our climate, it’s going to affect our water supply.”

Another demonstrator, Mara Ahmed, says she feels a kinship with the Native Americans fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline.

“I feel that we are one of the communities which is under attack right now and so I really know what it feels like as an immigrant, as a person of color and as a Muslim, and so it’s extremely important for me to show solidarity with other such communities,"

In general, President Donald Trump has moved to change the way the  federal government has approached environmental issues; he has pushed for projects he feels will create jobs.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.