Activists take teepees and protest against pipeline to National Mall

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The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which has been involved in a longstanding dispute with authorities over the pipeline in North Dakota, led the march along with advocacy groups.

The company informed the court earlier this week that construction is progressing and the pipe could be carrying oil by sometime next week.

In the meantime, they said, they'll continue to argue for more environmental study and for the government to recognize the tribe's treaty rights to clean water.

Compared to the largely white, upper-income residential populations of North Bismarck, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe remains the poorest community in the state, with unemployment rates that have hovered between 40 and 80 percent. The lake is the primary source of water for the Standing Rock Sioux Nation reservation.

A federal judge has declined to temporarily stop construction of the final section of the Dakota Access pipeline.

"Upon assuming office, President Trump directed an expedited approval process, and on February 8, the Army Corps of Engineers issued the easement that permitted Dakota Access to drill under the lake".

Art projections accompanied by slogans such as "Stand With Standing Rock", loomed above the crowd; one image in particular - a woman breastfeeding her baby using oil dripping from a tower - hinted at the sinister nature of oil transportation in North Dakota.

Boasberg in his ruling Tuesday said the tribes didn't raise the religion argument in a timely fashion. It is generally cheaper to move oil by pipeline than by rail, though it is still profitable to move it by rail, according to John Duff, operations research analyst with the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

"Trash was being taken out", Trahant said, "but not at a rate the state or tribe found acceptable".

"I was amazed that a new town was essentially forming and there were different factions or neighborhoods of the camp, schools set up in tents, cook shacks to feed everyone, and even leadership organization with a camp center and daily meetings", Lattimer said.

"The line will be considered fully operational once the crude reaches Patoka", she said.

This week, the Standing Rock Sioux tribe have taken their protest to Washington - after having first fought through the harshest of winter conditions against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline under the Obama administration.

"Indian country needs a huge infrastructure building program".

Members of the tribe and protesters sympathetic to them kicked off a four-day protest on Tuesday by setting up tepees on the lawn of the National Mall in Washington, DC.

At Lafayette Square, indigenous people and protesters spoke, prayed, played music, and repeated calls for environmental justice, sovereignty and a meeting between Trump and leaders of tribal nations.

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