People protest Dakota Access Pipeline on Downtown Mall

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- On Tuesday evening, many people gathered on the Charlottesville Downtown Mall to stand in solidarity with people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, or DAPL, in North Dakota.

"This is a serious issue. Water is life," said Kirk Bowers, a member of Virginia's Sierra Club.

The event was hosted by multiple organizations in the area, including the Sierra Club, Friends of Nelson, Friends of Buckingham, and Wild Virginia.

"We're all fighting the same fights, we're all trying to keep and maintain the land, water, and the ability to dictate our own ability of privacy use," said Ernie Reed, President of Wild Virginia.

Organizers say locals have a strong connection to DAPL.

"The Dakota Access Pipeline is just another example of a pipeline project being permitted without adequate public engagement, or significant environmental review," said Bowers.

"Folks around here whose property is slated to be crossed by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline or Mountain Valley Pipeline know what it's like to see the government as a predator, and allowing the taking of their property for some benefit that isn't their own benefit," said Reed.

Organizers say they hope their stand of solidarity with other protesters will show people why protesting DAPL is important.

"We want to let them know that we are standing with them, and we're saying that under no circumstances can we allow something like this to happen," said Reed.

The event lasted a little more than an hour.

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