America Indians and their supporters march toward the White House in Washington, Friday, March 10, 2017, to rally against continued construction of the disputed Dakota Access pipeline. Photo: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta
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Photos Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
With options dwindling, Native American groups marched through Washington DC on Friday to voice their outrage at US President Donald Trump that the Dakota Access oil pipeline – that is expected to transport more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day – would soon become operational in this month itself.
The march followed almost a year of protests led by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in a remote area of North Dakota, where the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) will cross upstream from tribal lands.
The final, disputed section of the pipeline would pass under a reservoir that provides drinking water to the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux reservations. The tribes and their supporters fear the pipelines will desecrate tribal lands and contaminate the water.
"The government is violating our public right to clean water", Sarah Jumping Eagle, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe said. "People are tired of the government not listening to us and not listening to the word of the people. They are supposed to represent us and not corporations".
One of Trump's first actions as president was signing an executive order reviving construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, both of which had been put on hold by the Barack Obama administration.
Meanwhile, the Keystone pipeline will pump crude oil from Canada to the US of A.
Last month, Standing Rock demonstrators in North Dakota were forced to leave their protest camp after the DAPL's construction was cleared to go ahead again. The tribe also lost a subsequent legal battle that aimed to halt its construction.
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