• Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson sits atop a horse Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, while visiting the protest camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline outside Cannon Ball, N.D. Jackson said he came "to pray together, protest together and if necessary, go to jail together." (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

    Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson sits atop a horse Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, while visiting the protest camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline outside Cannon Ball, N.D. Jackson said he came "to pray together, protest together and if necessary,... go to jail together." (AP Photo/James MacPherson) (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline block a highway in near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Law enforcement officials have asked people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline to vacate an encampment on private land, and the protesters said no. Protesters are trying to halt construction of the pipeline they fear will harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

    Protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline block a highway in near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Law enforcement officials have asked people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline to vacate an ... encampment on private land, and the protesters said no. Protesters are trying to halt construction of the pipeline they fear will harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/James MacPherson) (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline block a highway in near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Law enforcement officials have asked people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline to vacate an encampment on private land, and the protesters said no. Protesters are trying to halt construction of the pipeline they fear will harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/James MacPherson)

    Protesters against the construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline block a highway in near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016. Law enforcement officials have asked people protesting the Dakota Access oil pipeline to vacate an ... encampment on private land, and the protesters said no. Protesters are trying to halt construction of the pipeline they fear will harm cultural sites and drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. (AP Photo/James MacPherson) (The Associated Press)

Oil pipeline protesters brace for confrontation with police

Markets Associated Press

Protesters trying to stop construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline are bracing for a confrontation with police after the demonstrators refused to leave private land in the pipeline's path.

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A months-long dispute over the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline reached a crisis point when some 200 protesters set up camp on land owned by pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners.

Law enforcement officers demanded that the protesters leave on Wednesday and they refused. It appeared that only thick fog and cloudy skies kept a large contingent of law enforcement officers from moving in. Officials have frequently monitored protesters by air.

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said Wednesday that the rule of law must be enforced.