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Dakota Pipeline protest gets ‘viral’ support from afar


People from across Oregon and te United States continue flocking to North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. Now, many more are showing their support without ever having to leave their homes.

Standing Rock check-ins are flooding Facebook feeds. It started when a site user said authorities were utilizing the site to track protesters, a claim the Morton County Sheriff’s Department denies.

Now the Standing Rock Indian Reservation has over a million check-ins. The Facebook campaign and recent celebrity involvement have brought renewed attention to the protests over a proposed pipeline stretching across four states, from North Dakota to Illinois.

Dan Wahpepah has traveled back and forth from Oregon to Standing Rock. He said the battle has united about 300 tribes across the nation.

“Right now, there are people networking and tribes and environmental organizations — they’re all hooking up and they’re all exchanging numbers, so we’ll be much more effective after that,” he said Tuesday.

Proponents argue the pipeline will create between 8,000 and 12,000 local jobs, and make the U.S. less dependent on imported oil.

But others say it’s dangerous.

“All the farmers, they don’t like it on their property, because they know it’s going to poison their land and they can’t farm. Cows are going to get sick, children are going to get sick, people are going to get sick, and the land will be poisoned if it ever breaks,” Wahpepah said.

There are about 800 protesters blocking construction of the pipeline now. Hundreds of others have been arrested as the standoff continues.

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