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dakota access

Protests erupted across the nation in an 11th-hour effort to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.

People held emergency rallies Wednesday in at least 53 cities in 26 states, according to the #NoDAPL 2017 Action Hub.

The protests came a day after the Army Corps of Engineers effectively cleared the way for Dakota Access to be completed, dealing a crushing blow to the movement that had grown up in opposition to the pipeline.

The Army Corps’ announcement has inspired resistance beyond marches. In North Dakota, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other water protectors have begun to return to the anti-pipeline camps, which are currently being cleaned up by sanitation crews.

“If you are coming, if you are self-sufficient and disciplined, you are among a couple thousand people that are already coming back, including three contingents of United States veterans,” Chase Iron Eyes, a member of the tribe, said in a live video posted to Facebook.

On the legal front, things look dismal. Dave Archambault II, the chair of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, said on Wednesday that the tribe is “running out of options” that could feasibly shut down the pipeline.

But if the #NoDAPL movement has proved anything, it’s that an underdog can pack a big punch.