Approximately 2,000 U.S. Veterans have joined in the protests over the pipeline plan to go ahead near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, North Dakota today.
They have actively joined in the cause so as to offer the protestors there “a break.” Ashleigh Jennifer Parker, Coast Guard veteran who now serves as the spokeswoman for the veterans’ stance on the demonstrations said, “We want to offer them a moment of peace, and, if we can, take a little bit of pressure off.”
Other veterans have even decided to take it a step further and vowed to serve as human shields for the protestors. Matthew Crane, 32, a Navy veteran stated: “We’re standing on the shoulders of Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi.”
Law Enforcement Stepping In
On Monday morning, the state officials demanded for all protestors to abandon the vicinity, yet the they stated on Wednesday that this order will not be vigorously enforced.
Furthermore, on Wednesday, North Dakota Emergency Commission (NDEC) permitted for an additional $7 million to be endorsed primarily for the law enforcement’s efforts in regards to the conflict among the protestors.
Law enforcement agencies have ordered activists to leave the premises due to the current and ongoing harsh winter conditions, yet vehicles are continuously permitted to enter the area.
The veterans have emphasized on their involvement through peaceful means, stating no weapons will be brought on their behalf.
“We will be unarmed, completely prepared for peaceful protest. We don’t even like the word protest. We’re there to help the water protectors,” said Parker.
The term water protectors has been current title the protestors earned, since they have spent months and months defying the decision to green light the $3.8 billion project.
Protesters claim the move poses as a major blow to water and other natural resources, including the destruction of Native American holy sites. The Army Corps verdict to start tunneling under the river has as of now been delayed twice due to the standoff.