Thousands Of Veterans Heading To Standing Rock
Following the overwhelming interest in the newly formed group “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock”, Reuters reports more than 2,000 U.S. military veterans plan to form a human shield to protect protesters of a pipeline project near a Native American reservation in North Dakota, organizers said, just ahead of a federal deadline for activists to leave the camp they have been occupying.
As we previously noted, the group has a strict no weapons policy but is stocking up on body armor and protective gear like gas masks to withstand potential attacks from the heavily militarized police, who have arrested at least 400 of protesters so far. According to on-site medics, hundreds of protesters have also been injured. Last week, a 21-year-old woman was reportedly hit with a concussion grenade, leading to a severe injury that may require her arm to be amputated. Though police have blamed protesters for what happened to her, at least one witness claims law enforcement’s version of events is untruthful.
“This country is repressing our people,” Wood Jr. said last week. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”
With 2,100 veterans signed up to make a stand, it appears police will be forced to reconcile their aggressive behavior with the nonviolent show of veterans, who intend to march toward police on site.
The group has gained substantial financial backing since word of their mission spread. According to their GoFundMe page, they have already raised over $500,000 to fund their trip, which is planned for December 4 to December 7.
Notably, Reuters reports that this comes as North Dakota law enforcement backed away from a previous plan to cut off supplies to the camp – an idea quickly abandoned after an outcry and with law enforcement’s treatment of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters increasingly under the microscope.
State officials issued an order on Monday for activists to vacate the Oceti Sakowin camp, located on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers land near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, citing harsh weather conditions.
The state’s latest decision not to stop cars entering the protest site indicated local officials will not actively enforce Monday’s emergency order to evacuate the camp issued by Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Dalrymple warned on Wednesday that it was “probably not feasible” to reroute the pipeline, but said he had requested a meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council to rebuild a relationship.
Veterans Stand for Standing Rock, a contingent of more than 2,000 U.S. military veterans, intends to go to North Dakota by this weekend and form a human wall in front of police, protest organizers said on a Facebook page. Organizers could not immediately be reached for comment.
“I figured this was more important than anything else I could be doing,” Guy Dull Knife, 69, a Vietnam War Army veteran, told Reuters at the main camp.
Dull Knife, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe from the Pine Ridge Reservation of South Dakota, said he has been camping at the protest site for months.
Morton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Rob Keller said in an email his agency was aware of the veterans’ plans, but would not comment further on how law enforcement will deal with demonstrators.
Local law enforcement said on Tuesday they planned a blockade of the camp, but local and state officials later retreated, saying they would only check vehicles for certain prohibited supplies like propane, and possibly issue fines. Dalrymple on Wednesday said state officials never contemplated forcibly removing protesters and there had been no plans to block food or other supplies from the camp. “That would be a huge mistake from a humanitarian standpoint,” he said on the conference call.
Protesters, who refer to themselves as “water protectors,” have been gearing up for the winter while they await the Army Corps decision on whether to allow Energy Transfer Partners to tunnel under the river. That decision has been delayed twice by the Army Corps.
Standing Rock camp at night Vets 11/30/16
Standing Rock Vets
Standing Rock 12/01/16
The Whole World Is Watching
Man Walked Over 200 miles to Standing Rock to show his solidarity
Indigenous tribe canoed from Washington state!
General update from Oceti Sakowin
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard called on President Obama to immediately halt construction of the DAPL
NODAPL Drill Site
Dakota Pipeline Protest: Medicine Man Gives Exclusive Interview w/Josh Tolley
For the pipeline or against, the reality is that this interview with make you see the situation in a new light! What’s happening in N. Dakota will affect every American!
Standing Rock Water Protectors
……………… The people of the American Police State will never have any hope of fighting government tyranny if we’re busy fighting each other.
When all is said and done, the only thing we really need to agree on is that we are all Americans.
So if this isn’t your fight—if you believe that authority is more important than liberty—if you don’t agree with a particular group’s position on an issue and by your silence tacitly support the treatment meted out to them—if you think you’re a better citizen or a more patriotic American—if you want to play it safe—and if don’t want to risk getting shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton, thrown to the ground, arrested and/or labeled an extremist—then by all means, remain silent. Stand down. Cower in the face of the police. Turn your eyes away from injustice. Find any excuse to suggest that the so-called victims of the police state deserved what they got.
But remember, when that rifle (or taser, or water cannon, or bully stick) finally gets pointed in your direction—and it will—when there’s no one left to stand up for you or speak up for you, remember that you were warned.