Anti-pipeline protest takes over downtown Austin

Drivers in downtown Austin had an extra rough rush-hour commute on Tuesday as protesters made their way down Congress Avenue.

This time, they were marching against banks that fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. Another big investor that people were protesting against: Donald Trump. Austin Police were escorting the hundreds of people to make sure everything went smoothly. Lately it's become a common sight and a nightmare for drivers - protestors taking over downtown Austin.

"The traffic in Austin is unbearable. We're literally bumper to bumper," says Austin driver.

"Well I was trying to get home from work, so that was a little rough. I saw 20 cop cars flying by and I had no idea what was going on," says Adrian Gravens, driver.

The hundreds of Austinites out marching on Tuesday say they want their voices heard. This time, the fight is against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Energy Transfer Partners is the company behind the project, along with a couple of pipelines in Texas not everyone is on board with.

"Why are we building more plants? Why are we building more infrastructure? The reason is greed. They want to make money out of every last drop. That has to be stopped," says Jere Locke, organized protest. 

Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase are among several banks around the world that have invested in the company. Protestors made stops at two of their locations in downtown Austin.

"Standing Rock is a symbol. It's not the only place. It's not the only infrastructure that's being built. It's just a symbol of the problem in this country," says Locke.

Locke says that includes what's being built in West Texas and across the state. Julie Kantor says we are putting corporations over people.

"It will destroy water for 10 million people minimum, and it's just unacceptable. I don't understand how we rationalize these things. I don't understand how we could say to people, 'you don't deserve water.' To me, it's a basic right that we should have," says Julie Kantor, protestor.

The future of our water supply and planet is an important issue for Jessica Neil, so much so, she has even gotten her children involved.

"I want them to know that things like this, you know when it's not okay, you can stand up and you can fight against it," says Jessica Neil.

Protesters are required to get a permit in order to shut down streets. We asked APD if the group did that, but they haven't responded back to us.

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