Oklahoma City protesters gather to oppose Keystone XL pipeline, military strike against Iran

President Barack Obama's visit to Oklahoma drew demonstrators into downtown streets Wednesday evening to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Activists from a number of organizations called for an expansion of clean energy programs and a shift in priorities at the federal level.
BY SILAS ALLEN sallen@opubco.com Published: March 22, 2012

Damage to state's historic sites feared

Fannie Bates, another protester, is a member of the Coalition Against Keystone XL Pipeline, an organization of American Indians and others who are concerned the project will damage or destroy historical buildings and sites in Oklahoma, including a number of American Indian sites.

Bates has written about her concerns on a personal blog. Citing figures from the Oklahoma Archaeological Survey, Bates said the project stands to disturb 71 archaeological sites and 12 historic structures across Oklahoma. But, she said, the federal government has been unwilling to turn over the list of which sites it intends to protect and which sites will be destroyed.

Particularly of concern, Bates said, is the fact that she has American Indian ancestors buried in unmarked graves across the state. She's concerned the project will disturb such sites.

“To us, those graves are sacred,” she said. “If you're not Indian, you wouldn't know where they are,” she said.


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