The Standing Rock protest has gone on for several months. At issue is a pipeline that will go through Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. In North Dakota, the pipeline is planned to run very close to #standing rock sioux Reservation. The pipeline also needs to pass under the Missouri river, which feeds the reservation's water source. Protesters also fear the project will damage their sacred tribal land.
Go Fund Me used to raise money
Many people, including non-Native Americans have arrived at the camp to support the water protectors over the past few months. They have stood in prayer lines holding back the construction equipment that waits to destroy their land. Police have been brought in to attempt to push the water protectors back. Battles have ensued and several protesters and police officers have been injured.
Wesley Clark Jr, who is a veteran and Michael Wood Jr, who is a retired Marine and police officer, decided to do something to help the water protectors. They created a Go Fund Me account to raise money and are gathering other veterans of the military to go to Standing Rock. They plan to put themselves between the protesters and the police to keep the protest peaceful.
Plans to arrive at Standing Rock
The group that calls themselves “#Veterans for Standing Rock” plan to arrive at the camp on December 5th. According to CNN, the group posted on their Facebook page that this was to be a peaceful organization. Anyone joining them was advised to wear body armor and gas masks along with earplugs, but was warned against any alcohol, drugs or weapons.
CNN quoted Clark as saying, "No group in the country has served a greater percentage in US military than Native Americans," said Wood. "We need to support them." Clark hopes to see as many as 500 military personnel join them in support of the Standing Rock protesters.
Water protectors endure much for the cause
The water protectors have been attacked by dogs, tear gassed and shot with water cannons in below freezing temperatures. According to Heavy.com, concussion grenades were launched into a peaceful crowd. Elder protesters have even suffered cardiac problems. Some have been treated for hypothermia.
Protester, Sylvia Wilansky sustained a severe arm injury during a small explosion at Standing Rock. According to Boston Magazine she was one of 27 people injured that day. She was airlifted to a hospital and may lose her arm. Police say they did not use any explosives and believe the blast was from within the water protector camp, possibly a propane explosion. #News