November 22, 2016 | Carey Wedler
(ANTIMEDIA) As protesters continue to stand against the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota, facing off against heavily militarized police and their water cannons, rubber bullets, tear gas, and tasers, they have gained broad support. Celebrities and millions of social media users have raised awareness about the situation in North Dakota, and now, the “water protectors” have earned support from another group: veterans.
According to an article published by Business Insider that first appeared in Task and Purpose, a military-oriented news and culture site, two veterans are leading the charge in a show of dissent against the increasingly aggressive police. In the last several months, tensions have escalated as Natives and their allies have blocked the pipeline’s construction, citing fears surrounding water will be endangered and sacred burial sites will be destroyed (not to mention the fact their lands were forcibly stolen by the U.S. government over a century ago).
“This country is repressing our people,” says Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to work toward reforming law enforcement. “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,” he asserted about his plans to go to Standing Rock.