People in the U.S. state of North Dakota are angry because an oil company is building a giant pipe near their land. The oil company wants to build the multibillion-dollar oil pipeline under a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The Sioux people are Native Americans who have been on the land for thousands of years. The Native Americans have been joined by many protestors. They are all trying to stop the $3.8 billion pipeline from passing near Sioux land. They say it will dirty their drinking water and make it undrinkable. They also say the pipeline will damage sacred Sioux sites. A Texas-based company, Energy Transfer Partners, owns the 1,885-km pipeline project. It is almost complete.
The protestors are calling themselves "water protectors". They have been on the site for months trying to block the pipeline. They were recently joined by veterans from the U.S. military. These are retired soldiers, sailors and members of the air force. The veterans have built the protestors shelters to keep warm in the freezing winter. There has been violence between the protestors and police. A North Dakota spokesman said some of the protestors were "frightening". He said: "It's time for them to go home." However, Coast Guard veteran Ashleigh Jennifer Parker said: "We will be unarmed, completely prepared for peaceful protest. We don't even like the word 'protest'. We're there to help the water protectors."