Veterans have started arriving at Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota and their impact has been felt almost immediately. In addition to pledging to be a human shield against aggressors within the law enforcement community acting at the behest of the company building the North Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the veterans have also started building barracks for the protesters.
In a report from Reuters, the Standing Rock protestors have been battling the elements just as much as they have been battling the authorities trying to drive them out of the area for construction of the DAPL pipeline.
— Fred Bentler (@Bentler) November 24, 2016
There was an order from North Dakota state officials on Monday for protestors at Standing Rock to evacuate the protest zone, but that order has been watered down since Wednesday with state officials saying that it would not be enforced.
The main concern that state officials have cited for ordering people to evacuate the protest at Standing Rock was due to the extremely harsh weather that has been rolling through, which will include temperatures at 4 degrees Fahrenheit next week.
With the arrival of veterans to the scene at Standing Rock, protesters now have a breath of new hope as the veterans have employed their own training to establish barracks that can help protect against the extreme weather that is expected to be coming through next week. Temperatures have already been below freezing, which happens at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even in the freezing temperatures, Standing Rock protesters have been greeted with an array of aggressive action from authorities, which includes water being shot at them through a high-pressure hose, rubber bullets, and tear gas. There have been some major injuries reported, which includes that of a girl who could lose her arm and other incidents that have left people with severe wounds and potentially life-threatening hypothermia due to the water blasts.
There was also a video report of a female independent journalist, Erin Schrode, doing an interview with one of the Standing Rock protesters, peacefully, but subsequently being shot with a rubber bullet in what appeared to be a random act of aggression from the authorities on the scene.
Most of the land enforcers have been off-duty cops and servicemen who have been hired by the DAPL company that’s building the pipeline. In the earliest days of the Standing Rock DAPL protest, the company hired men to bring their attack dogs out to intimidate and even injure some of the protesters. When that did not drive the people away from the Standing Rock protest, more aggressive measures were employed, which included the aggressive tactics previously mentioned as well as arrests made by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.
Such actions by the authorities in the area have inspired veterans to come out in defense of the Native American tribes and other people who have unified to oppose the DAPL project at Standing Rock.
Veterans at Standing Rock have valuable expertise to fighting the elements that have been a great asset to the protesters. Although their first pledge was to stand forward and act as a human shield against the aggressive authorities in the area, they have also helped tend to their woes against the elements with the construction of barracks that help keep the Standing Rock protesters safe from the cold.
— #NoDAPL (@NoDAPL_) December 3, 2016
In the end, the protesters at Standing Rock are essentially opposing the DAPL pipeline construction to protect the water in the area that feeds into the Missouri River and provides for millions of people and families.
On the political side of the DAPL protest at Standing Rock, President-elect Donald Trump has said that he is in favor of the pipeline being built. Vocal opposition to the DAPL pipeline includes Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]