Jesse Jackson in North Dakota to Contest Dakota Access Pipeline

By Yessenia Funes Oct 26, 2016

These past weeks have seen a marked increase in the public figures who are openly supporting the #NoDAPL movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Today (October 26), Reverend Jesse Jackson will join the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe on their Cannon Ball River campsite.

In an email statement sent to Colorlines, Jackson said:

The tribes of this country have sacrificed a lot so that this great country could be built. With promises broken, land stolen, and sacred lands desecrated, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is standing up for their right to clean water. They have lost land for settlers to farm, more land for gold in the Black Hills, and then again even more land for the dam that was built for flood control and hydro power. When will the talking stop? When we start treating the first peoples of this land with the respect and honor they deserve?

The original Dakota Access Pipeline Route was slated for north of Bismarck, the capitol of ND. The City objected, so they moved the route to right north of Bismarck. This is the ripest case of environmental racism I’ve seen in a long time. Bismarck residents don’t want their water threatened, so why is it OK for ND to react with guns and tanks when Native Americans ask for the same right?”

The civil rights activist has been campaigning for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, FOX News reports, but he is heading to North Dakota because "their case is that precious to me." Jackson has a history with rallying behind environmental justice fights involving Native Americans. In 1997, he supported the Colorado River Native Nations Alliance in their struggle to protect a sacred site from toxic nuclear dumping.

One of the most prominent figures in the #NoDAPL movement has been “Divergent” and “Snowden” actress Shailene Woodley, who was arrested October 10 (Indigenous People’s Day) during a prayer on a construction site. Earlier this week on Sunday (October 23), sibling artists Jaden and Willow Smith attended an anti-pipeline protest in Los Angeles.



A photo posted by ≠GWEELOS≠ (@willowsmith) on

Actress Rosario Dawson (“Luke Cage”) and actors Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”) and Mark Ruffalo (“The Avengers”) have also expressed support of the movement.

What do you think of public figures supporting the Native and non-Native water protectors fighting the pipeline? Let us know in the comments.