In response to President Trump’s signature approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline, Army veterans will once again stand in solidarity to oppose its construction.
Gathering in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the retired service -men and -women are reinforcing their numbers before traveling to Standing Rock.
Air Force veteran and demonstrator, Elizabeth Williams said, “We are prepared to put our bodies between Native elders and a privatized military force. We’ve stood in the face of fire before. We feel a responsibility to use the skills we have.”
The Army Corps of Engineering recently scrapped a planned environmental study, expediting the construction permit for the $3.7 billion pipeline. Citing previously violent encounters with security forces, the military veterans want to provide support for the “turmoil and uncertainty.”
Veterans Stand has raised close to $220,000 in support of the impending protests. The group’s founder, Michael Wood, recently told CNN: “The biggest misconception is that Veterans Stand wants to do anything aggressive in response. People want to do something and they just don’t know what to do. We just want to give people a platform.”
We’re not coming as fighters, but as protectors,” Marine veteran Jake Pogue said. “Our role in that situation would be to simply form a barrier between water protectors and the police force and try to take some of that abuse for them.”
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