NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Children from the Chicora Cherokee Community stopped traffic Wednesday afternoon to get their voices heard. They're protesting Palmetto Railways' proposed rail facility, which will bring more railways and cargo through their North Charleston neighborhood.
The young crowd, mostly from the Children's Defense Fund Freedom School, picked this issue as a social action project.
The children hit the pavement blowing whistles, chanting and toting signs. They also wore dust masks to dramatize their concern about the negative impact the railway project may have on air quality.
Families started their one-mile march at Mary Ford Elementary School in North Charleston. They walked all the way to Sterett Hall, where the proposed facility may be built, and several community members spoke to the crowd.
"Most rail yards operate around the clock and nothing has been proposed to mitigate the noise pollution during night time hours," said Tommie Middleton, Chicora resident. "I can just imagine how difficult it would be for children to stay awake, focused and engaged in class after being woken up repeatedly during the night because of noise."
Currently, Sterett Hall is a community center, there's also a gym, and organizers called it a positive resource for their neighborhood.
The proposed railway facility is still seeking federal permits and could take up to six years to complete.