Hundreds of veterans from various branches of the United States military have scheduled a “deployment” to show support for Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. A Facebook event titled “Veterans for Standing Rock” has been scheduled for December 4 through December 7. Over 200 veterans have responded to an invitation to travel to the site of the Dakota Pipeline protests to join the ranks of the ever-growing protest.
The Facebook page is now being used to organize the logistics of the protest. Ridesharing registration and financial assistance is being provided for veterans that wish to join. The founder of the event, Wes Clark Jr., issued this message to supporters via the Facebook page:
“Bring Body armor, gas masks, earplugs AND shooting mufflers (we may be facing a sound cannon) but no drugs, alcohol or weapons,”
The protests have garnered international attention and celebrity support. However, Clark states that a veteran presence is needed to give the protestors more legitimacy. Clark told Task & Purpose.
“Most civilians who’ve never served in a uniform are gutless worms who’ve never been in a fight in their life,” So if we don’t stop it, who will?”
The Dakota Access Pipeline will transport approximately half a million barrels of crude oil underneath the Missouri River everyday. Indigenous people fear that the pipeline and its construction could cause millions of people who depend on the Missouri River for potable water to go thirsty.