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Protesters rally against North Dakota pipeline

Protesters gathered Thursday outside U.S. Army Corps of Engineers offices in San Francisco to demand the agency rescind the permit for a controversial crude oil pipeline in North Dakota.

The 1,168-mile North Dakota Access Pipeline, which would carry crude oil across four states, is opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which sued the Army Corps of Engineers after it issued permits for the project in July.

The tribe alleges the project would damage cultural, historic and sacred spaces and environmental resources and poses a threat to its drinking water, which leaders say could be poisoned in an oil spill.

A judge issued an injunction ordering construction stopped on part of the project on Tuesday and was expected to further rule on a request to halt construction by today.

Protesters in San Francisco this morning said the pipeline was illegal because the Army Corps of Engineers did not consult with the tribe as required be federal law, and because the agency improperly used a permitting process that allowed it to skip environmental review and public comment.

“We are here to protect the sacred water!” Pennie Opal Plant, with the group Idle No More SF Bay, told the assembled group of around 60 people as members took turns reading from letters to the Army Corps of Engineers and speaking to the crowd.

“It’s not something that we’re going to let go of,” said Janeen Antoine, a member of the Sicangu Lakota living in the Bay Area. “If we pollute this water, there’s nothing to replace it.”

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