Over the last several days, there have been horrendously violent attacks against the protesters at Standing Rock Sioux – at the hands of the very people who are supposed to be protecting them. Unfortunately, the militarized police force has unleashed massive brutality on these unarmed protesters, using tear gas, rubber bullets, grenades and water cannons in freezing temperatures.
In response, hundreds of veterans are standing up and vowing to travel to North Dakota to provide protesters with “an unarmed, peaceful militia to defend water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL Security.” As of right now, a Facebook page created for this initiative has over 600 confirmed veterans with the possibility of thousands more joining.
These veterans are showing Americans what being an ally really looks like. They are speaking out and getting involved. Michael A. Wood, a veteran and former Baltimore police officer, said:
“This country is repressing our people. If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”
Jade Emilio Snell, a former marine, said:
“I’ve been watching the news, how they’re spraying everybody and using rubber bullets, and these guys are fighting for what they believe in and as a veteran we took an oath. We’re not just there to protect Americans in foreign countries. We’re here to protect this country inside of it, too.”
The attacks on protesters have been so devastating that one protester is facing an amputation on her arm after a grenade detonated. Several hundred are also suffering from hypothermia after being soaked with water by police in the cold. The veterans are aware of these dangers, but they aren’t backing down. The Facebook page reads:
“Bring Body armor, gas masks, earplugs AND shooting mufflers (we may be facing a sound cannon) but no drugs, alcohol or weapons.”
A GoFundMe page has been created for the veterans in addition to the Facebook page, and it has already raised more than half of its goal in only 14 days.
— Michael A. Wood Jr. (@MichaelAWoodJr) November 23, 2016
— shoutoutloud (@ShoutAloudNow) November 22, 2016
— Jay Stringer (@JayStringer) November 21, 2016
We are blessed to have such brave people in our country.