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Thousands Rally over North Dakota Pipeline

Thousands of people have held a rally in Los Angeles, California, as part of nationwide protests against a controversial oil pipeline in North Dakota.

The demonstrators carried signs Saturday reading, "Standing tall with Standing Rock," while holding an inflatable black pipeline with the words "Water is life, No more dirty oil" painted on it.

The latest protests come despite an army order to halt the multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project which has triggered controversy since its approval back in July.

"The army will not grant an easement to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location based on the current record," a statement from the US Army said last week.

Jo-Ellen Darcy, the US Army's Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, said, "The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.

The Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Native American tribes say the 1,885-km pipeline will harm their drinking water and sacred sites.

Pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners, however, says the project is safe and the fastest way to bring Bakken shale oil from North Dakota to oil refineries in the US Gulf Coast.

Thousands of people representing different tribes from all over America have traveled to North Dakota in solidarity with the protest movement. More than 560 protesters have been arrested since August.

A clash last month near the main protest camp left a police officer and several protesters injured.

Over 300 protesters were also treated for hypothermia and other ailments after they were soaked by officers in freezing temperatures.

Activists are worried about the future of their movement as President-elect Donald Trump has said he supports the controversial project, PressTV reported.

Source: Al Alam

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