2 pipeline protesters arrested

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MARFA -- The Trans-Pecos Pipeline has many West Texas residents upset.

About 70 self-proclaimed “peaceful protesters” met at various construction sites today.

That’s when two members of the Native Nations tied themselves to a tractor in what they call “peaceful direct action.”

But it landed them behind bars.

“These kinds of direct action is the only way we’re really getting our point across,” said Native Nations Executive Director Frankie Orona.

He came to Marfa from San Antonio after he says concerned residents reached out to Native communities for help.

After this morning’s arrests, some of the group met at the Marfa jail, requesting their friends be released.

“We decided to say some prayers and sing for the land there that was desecrated,” Orona said.

The group is objecting to the natural gas pipeline that will go under the Rio Grande and all the way to Mexico.

"We decided to stop the work from continuing and so that's what we did,” he said, adding that the group avoids vandalism and aggression towards workers, but, he adds: “All I’m asking is understand that we are all human beings treat us as though because we're doing our job you're doing your job. Just don't overdo your job.”

Orona says many people from surrounding states are beginning to come down to join the protest as well.

On the flipside, though, the Trans-Pecos Pipeline Project’s website reports that the project will create 350 construction jobs, provide additional revenue to communities along the pipeline route, and compensate landowners for easements created during the project.

As for environmental concerns the site says the current pipeline route affects the environment the least, and gives communities and businesses a chance to develop economically.