Demonstrators rally downtown before marching to Trump Tower while protesting the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Feb. 4, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
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Dakota Access pipeline opponents involved in a violent clash with police in North Dakota in November are unlikely to succeed in a lawsuit alleging excessive force and civil rights violations, a federal judge said Tuesday.U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland didn't immediately rule on a motion filed Monday by law enforcement to dismiss the lawsuit, but he did deny an earlier request by pipeline opponents to bar police from using such things as chemical agents and water sprays as a means of dispersing crowds of protesters.Rachel Lederman, lead attorney for the protesters, called Hovland's ruling "disturbing" and said she'll appeal.The Nov. 20-21 confrontation occurred at a blockaded bridge near the encampment where pipeline opponents have gathered in the hundreds and sometimes thousands since last summer, fighting a $3.8 billion project they believe could harm drinking water and Native American cultural sites.
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