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DALLAS (CBS11) – Standing in solidarity with Standing Rock, more than 100 protesters gathered in downtown Dallas in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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It’s a 17-hour drive from North Texas to North Dakota but Jesse Puente said he did it and he’s about to make the drive again.

Jesse Puente of Mesquite protests Dakota Access Pipeline in ND (Jesse Puente)

Jesse Puente of Mesquite protests Dakota Access Pipeline in ND (Jesse Puente)

“I went because I felt like there were people there that needed me,” said Puente.

The technician from Mesquite camped out in North Dakota for a week at the protest site in freezing temperatures.

For months protesters have clashed with police over the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline being built by Dallas based-Energy Transfer Partners.

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Those demonstrators — or “water protectors” as they prefer to be called — have occupied land along the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline, staging prayer ceremonies and advocating for a halt to construction of the pipeline. 

The $3.8 billion pipeline, which crosses four states, would transport up to 570,000 barrels of fracked crude oil daily, 92 feet below the Missouri River.

Supporters of the 1,200 mile pipeline say it would create 8,000 to 12,000 local jobs during constructions.

Local organizer, Yolonda Bluehorse, along with other Native American tribes and activists worry the pipeline will be a danger to water sources and other cultural sites.

“The land we stand on the air that we breath and the water we drink is the main foundation of my peoples spirituality,” said Bluehorse.

North Dakota’s Governor ordered a mandatory evacuation of protesters by next Monday.

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