For the past several months, news reports have been full of stories about the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). All of us have seen the protestors gathering, the atrocities committed by the police, National Guard and a security firm on those same protestors, and even a few familiar faces among the protestors.
Despite a recent request by the Army Corps of Engineers for a stop on building the pipeline while they investigate claims on the environment, and in particular on Reservation land, this issues seems far from over. With this issue still making headlines, I felt like it was high time I went back and reviewed what has happened so far. Having the story condensed into a series of posts may spur on more people to keep up the fight for clean water, and open a few more eyes to what these protestors have endured already in a country we are constantly touting as “free” for all citizens.
In a time where the recent election of Trump has brought a lot of hidden racism and bigotry to the forefront, we need to support these Standing Rock Sioux more than ever. Our past is laden with atrocities toward people of any color (including, but by no means limited to, Native Americans). It’s time to put an end to that. Hopefully, Standing Rock will become a defining moment in our history, a point where we can look back and realize this was one of those moments where we as US citizens all stood together for something important. If enough of us join together for this cause, maybe our future can be something we can all look forward to, rather than just more of a past we are ashamed of.
Veterans Assemble at Standing Rock to Defend Water Protectors from Assault
Michael A. Wood Jr, a veteran, started a petition to send veterans to Standing Rock. According to their gofund.me account, their goal is to “assemble as a peaceful militia in order to protect the protestors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security.”
Stating that police forces in the area are acting as unpaid DAPL security guards and exacting violence on the peaceful protestors, his campaign was hugely successful, and, again according to their gofund.me account, they have reached their goal of 2000 veterans involved in this. Beginning December 4, 2016, they arrived and began acting as a human wall between the protestors and the ruthless police they are up against.
When veterans originally signed up, the swore an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies – foreign and domestic. They see these over-bearing police attacks as an attack on the people’s rights, and a threat to the Constitution – yet no one seems to be doing anything about it. They are hoping that by creating a human wall between the protestors and these vicious police, they will be able to prevent further violence, and protect these protestors’ Constitutional Rights.