Over 2,000 U.S. military veterans plan to gather in North Dakota to form a human shield around the water protectors who have been camped out for months protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Indigenous water protectors have been protesting the installment of DAPL near Native-owned land and have been attacked with dogs, tear gas, water cannons, and have been threatened with having resources cut off to their camps.
The veterans, who are part of a group called Veterans Stand for Standing Rock plan to emerge on the camp in order to create a human shield between police and the water protectors. According to the group's Facebook page, they plan to be at Standing Rock Indian Reservation from Dec. 4 through 7.
An organizing event page on Facebook says the group of veterans is acting "[T]o support our country so lets do it with honor, working together" and instructs attendees to "Bring Body armor, gas masks, earplugs AND shooting mufflers (we may be facing a sound cannon)" with them to the camp.
The Veterans for Standing Rock also have a GoFundMe campaign with the goal of a million dollars that would be used to fund transportation, food, and supplies so that the vets are able to "defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security."
Reuters reports that North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple recently ordered that the camp be evacuated by this coming Monday, but protesters have not given any indication they plan to leave the camp or cease their activism on site. The Army Corps of Engineers has said that they will not forcibly remove people from the camp, according to Reuters.