Veterans Deploy to Join Standing Rock in Dakota Access Pipeline Protests
“It’s time for real patriots … it’s time for anyone and everyone to lead,” reads a note on Go Fund Me from Veterans Stand for Standing Rock.
The battle for and against the Dakota Access Pipeline has recently turned violent, but reinforcements from veterans are on the way to help protect those protesting for Standing Rock.
On December 4, thousands of veterans will deploy in North Dakota to aid protestors in fighting to conserve the sacred Native American land as part of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock campaign.
The mission is to “assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia” and “defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security,” as well as support the cause and draw further national attention.
The event is supported financially by a GoFundMe campaign which has raised in 17 days $580,254 of its $750,000 goal (as of press time). The funds go toward food, transportation, and supplies for the vets who will attend.
“It’s time to display that honor, courage and commitment we claim to represent,” event co-founder Michael Wood Jr., a retired Baltimore police officer and Marine Corps vet, told CNN.
While protestors are defending the Native Americans, proponents of the construction say it will decrease U.S. reliance on foreign oil immensely.
The event page on Facebook urges attendees to bring body armor, gas masks, earplugs and shooting mufflers and leave the drugs, alcohol, and weapons at home.
“In the ultimate expression of alliance, we are there to put our bodies on the line, no matter the physical cost, in complete nonviolence to provide a clear representation to all Americans of where evil resides,” the Operation Order for the event reads on the Facebook of Wesley Clark Jr., a fellow veteran and a screenwriter/activist who co-founded the event. “The water protectors are leading the way against this same evil which we must all face globally, saving ourselves and our children from the apocalyptic outcome of climate change.”