Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Gore support Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's opposition to Dakota Access Pipeline

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CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) — The Rev. Jesse Jackson says he is going to North Dakota to join the protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Jackson says Native Americans who oppose the pipeline have a "moral claim to be heard" and that their burial grounds "must be honored."

The civil rights leader says he plans to arrive in Bismarck on Wednesday and will stand with pipeline opponents and "if necessary, go to jail with them."

Jackson has been campaigning for Hillary Clinton, but says he is diverting to North Dakota "because their case is that precious to me."


Former Vice President Al Gore also says he supports the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Gore said in a statement Tuesday that the pipeline "appears to be a dangerous project in blatant disregard of obvious risks to the Missouri River and with disrespect to the Standing Rock Sioux."

The tribe wants construction of the $3.8 billion pipeline halted, saying it could taint water supplies and encroach on tribal burial sites.

Protests supporting the tribe have been going on for months, with more than 260 people arrested for interfering with the project in North Dakota.

Gore called the protests "non-violent resistance" to the project.

Pipeline opponents worry about potential effects on drinking water on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's reservation and farther downstream on the Missouri River, as well as destruction of cultural artifacts, including burial sites.


Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline has numerous safeguards.

The developer of the Dakota Access Pipeline says protesters who have camped on company land since the weekend are trespassing and will be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law."

Energy Transfer Partners said in a statement Tuesday that it wants all protesters to leave its land in North Dakota immediately.

More than 100 American Indians and others set up tents and teepees over the weekend on land the Dallas-based company acquired recently. That move put them right in the path of the four-state, thousand-mile pipeline for the first time.

The protesters argue the land rightfully belongs to Native Americans under a more than century old treaty. But the local sheriff's office has called it trespassing.

The Standing Rock Sioux and other protesters argue the pipeline is a threat to clean water. Energy Transfer Partners says the pipeline will be safe.