Intermediate Listening Practice

A Democratic Right - Transcript

A journalist's report on a protest against the building of a road.

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Angie: Now, we're going over to Chris, who's in Redford reporting on the protests that have taken place today.

Reporter: Hi Angie, everything has calmed down now, but tempers were high earlier today. This is the second day of protests against the new highway and people refuse to accept this plan. They don't want to see a big new road coming through this area.

Angie: Tell me about Redford, Chris. What sort of area is it?

Reporter: Redford is a small farming community, about three or four thousand people. They enjoy living in a quiet rural area and they don't want big trucks and buses roaring through town.

Angie: Were there any arrests today?

Reporter: I spoke to the Redford Police Department and they said there were no arrests but some people were told to move on and warned they would be arrested if they didn't. I talked to some of the protesters earlier this afternoon.

[sounds of protest in background]

Reporter: Why are you here, Ma'am?

Woman 1: I will not let my son grow up in a parking lot. I moved here with my husband five years ago to escape the noise and pollution. I don't want it coming out here in Redford.

Reporter: What do you say to the local businesses who think this road is so necessary? They say it will help Redford, connect it to the world again.

Woman 1: They said that about the railroad and they closed it twenty years ago. If they want Redford to be well-connected again, then open the railroad. That would cost a third of what they're going to spend on this new highway and won't cause any of the pollution. I remember hearing they were going to close the railroad and I thought it was crazy and now here we are and they are ready to spend a huge amount of money to build a useless road.

Reporter: Can I ask you, Ma'am, what brings you out to this protest today?

Woman 2: We have to do everything to protect this beautiful green land. Once it's gone, it's gone for good. They don't dig up roads to plant trees. We have to stop this road from happening.

Angie: A lot of angry people there, Chris?

Reporter: I spoke to other people and they said things I can't put on the radio. It's difficult to understand the anger here without seeing it yourself.

Angie: I understand that construction is due to begin very soon.

Reporter: The protesters are determined to stop that. This will be in the courts tomorrow as a legal challenge to construction of the highway. They say they will stop protesting if the local government stops building and starts talking to them.

Angie: Is there any sign of that happening?

Reporter: Yesterday, I spoke to the local congressman and he said he understands people's democratic right to protest, but the highway goes ahead.

Angie: Thanks, Chris in Redford. We'll keep an eye on that story.

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