Military veterans are showing their solidarity with demonstrators at Standing Rock. Groups of retired U.S. veterans have promised to be “human shields” for the protesters as friction between those living on the reservation and law enforcement officials continues to ensue, reports NBC News.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a letter to the protesters, demanding that protesters vacate the reservation by December 5 so that plans to build the controversial oil pipeline can move forward. Demonstrators have ignored the order and are continuing to gather at Standing Rock despite bad weather. North Dakota was hit with a blizzard last week that left nearly a foot of snow on the ground, but that didn’t stop nearly 2,000 protesters from gathering at the reservation.
Amongst those demonstrators were groups of veterans. “They’re coming to support us, despite this cold,” said 19-year-old protester Gracy Claymore. “It does make me nervous, though, because I know nobody from the camp will move on Monday as the corps asked and the possibility of clashes with the National Guard or police is very real.”
Claymore says that the protesters have built a strong sense of community and are banning together to beat the cold weather conditions, notes the report. There are tents throughout the camp for shelter and a group chops wood throughout the day to create bonfires for warmth in the evenings. “The weather hasn’t stopped anyone,” says Claymore, writes the outlet. “Everyone is adapting because they know we have to win this fight and save our water.”
Nearly 2,500 military veterans are expected to be at the camp by Sunday.
SOURCE: NBC News