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Streets close as hundreds march through St. Paul to protest oil pipeline

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Hundreds of protestors have closed roads in St. Paul as they take part in a demonstration against a controversial oil pipeline.

Members of Twin Cities environmental groups joined at midday to take part in the Tar Sands Resistance March, objecting to a the Sandpiper oil pipeline that will span the width of Minnesota, and which was on Friday approved by state regulators.

According to the Star Tribune, several thousand people were expected to take part, including "national heavyweights" such as 350.org founder Bill McKibben and the Obijwe "water walker" Sharon Day.

MN350.org told the newspaper the demonstration is intended to be peaceful, featuring a march and subsequent rally with music on the lawn of the state Capitol.

Pictures posted on social media by GreenActionMN, police shut down several streets in downtown St. Paul as the march made its way from Lambert Landing in Shepard Road towards the Capitol.

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The Sandpiper oil line, a $2.6 billion project by Calgary-based Enbridge, will run from North Dakota to Superior, Wisconsin.

Discussions will continue over the route will continue, with the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission unhappy with Enbridge's proposal that would take the line close to many lakes and wetlands in the Park Rapids area.

However, the alternative the PUC is considering would still take the line close to the Mississippi Headwaters.

Pictures from the march:

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