Veterans raise more than $200,000 for Dakota pipeline protest

Vets at Standing Rock supporting opponents of the Dakota pipeline
The following is from New York based writer for The Independent Rachael Revesz. This is a story the military veterans who has just raised another $200,000 to help opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

 

A military veteran organisation has raised more than $200,000 for a renewed campaign effort against the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline.

Veterans Stand has collected $213,500 so far to send supplies to the Standing Rock Native American reservation in North Dakota to help protesters and those who will be affected by the construction of the $3.7 billion pipeline, which would cut through four states and threaten the water supply for millions of people.

The group wrote on their Facebook page: “We have continued to stay in contact with indigenous and camp leadership and have identified several areas where the Veterans Stand network can continue to serve the needs of the camp and local community.”

Michael Woods, founder of Veterans Stand, told CNN that it was unlikely the group will send down a large group of protesters like last time.

“The biggest misconception is that Veterans Stand wants to do anything aggressive in response,” he said.

“People want to do something and they just don’t know what to do. We just want to give people a platform.”

The group’s secretary of communications, Anthony Diggs, has spent a week at the Standing Rock Reservation to meet with camp leaders, arrange to send supplies and organise volunteers.

Fundraising efforts this year follow thousands of veterans joining the tribe in 2016 to block Energy Transfer Partners from completing the pipeline under Lake Oahe and the Missouri River, which would pollute the tribe’s water supply and affect around 17 million people who live downstream.

Veterans also raised more than $1.5 million for the cause last year to provide transportation and supplies for the protesters.

Clashes with police turned violent as temperatures dropped in winter, with law enforcement using water hoses and tear gas. One canister badly damaged the arm of a woman protester.

Hundreds of people were arrested.

Former President Obama ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers in December to look at ways to reroute the pipeline, instead of it running within half a mile of the Standing Rock Reservation. His decision was hailed as a big victory for a grassroots campaign and protesters on the ground.

Yet within four days of Mr Trump assuming office, he signed an executive order to “get the pipeline built”, as well as the Keystone XL pipeline from TransCanada.

ETP announced building would begin again “immediately” and would be complete within about 83 days.

 

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