Hundreds of Veterans Heading to Standing Rock to Defend DAPL Protesters from Police
As protesters continue to stand against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, facing off against heavily militarized police and their water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and tasers, they have gained broad support. Celebrities and millions of social media users have raised awareness about the situation in North Dakota, and now, the “water protectors” have earned support from another group: veterans.
According to an published by that first in , a military-oriented news and culture site, two veterans are leading the charge in a show of dissent against the increasingly aggressive police. In the last several months, tensions have escalated as Natives and their allies have blocked the pipeline’s construction, citing fears surrounding water will be endangered and sacred burial sites will be destroyed (not to mention the fact their lands were forcibly by the U.S. government over a century ago).
” says Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to work toward reforming law enforcement. “,” he asserted about his plans to go to Standing Rock.
Woods Jr. is joined by Wes Clark Jr. Clark Jr. is the son of General Wesley Clark, the famous military leader who once that shortly after 9/11, the government had its eyes on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Clark would later to distance himself from those statements but still managed to convince his son, a member of the Army at the time, to stay away from Iraq.
“ summarized, “ ”,’” Clark Jr. recalls of his desire to fight for the military after 9/11. He later changed his mind after his father warned him, as
Now, Wood Jr. and Clark Jr. are attempting to organize a mass, nonviolent protest against police action in North Dakota. Just this past weekend, a female protester was with a concussion grenade, causing severe damage to her arm and requiring surgery.
Other have been tear gassed, tased, beaten, and shot with rubber bullets. journalist Derrick Broze was by law enforcement immediately after he declared he was a member of the media. Another journalist was with a rubber bullet while standing away from a gathering of protesters as she interviewed an attendee.
Police have over 470 arrests since August, and the Indigenous Environmental Network 167 people were injured just this past Sunday when police deployed water cannons in freezing weather.
Clark, a to the Young Turks, explained that aside from the flagrant violations protesters are subject to in North Dakota, Natives are especially deserving of veteran support:
“,” he said.
According to a Facebook the two men created called “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” those who join the effort will arrive at the protest site on December 4, where they will stay until December 7.
The event description reads:
Clark Jr. was clear he was not looking for violence and that the protest would be unarmed.
“” he said. “ .”
The event page makes it clear that the group will not tolerate “.”
“,” they advise, “ ”
Over 250 veterans have already committed, but organizers hope to have a group of 500 or more by the time they head to Standing Rock.
Once there, the veterans intend to engage in a traditional native healing ceremony with protesters, with whom they have been coordinating, to the veterans. Then, protective gear like gas masks and body armor will be issued to anyone who needs it. The soldiers will march to bagpipes and Sioux war songs as they head to the banks of the Missouri River to meet police.
Though the veterans have adopted a strict policy of nonviolence, they refuse to back down and apparently hope to use their military status to spotlight the egregious behavior of the police.
“,” says Wood Jr. “ .”
Veterans Stand for Standing Rock is accepting donations to cover food, transportation, and supplies for those who travel to North Dakota. You can donate . You can also donate to the water protectors.
H/T: The Anti Media