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North Dakota pipeline protestors get support from US military veterans

Standing Rock: US military veterans back North Dakota pipeline protests, ABC News 3 Dec 16,  US military veterans plan to build a barracks at a protest camp in North Dakota to support thousands of activists in frigid conditions opposing a multi-billion-dollar pipeline project near the Standing Rock Native American reservation.

Key points:

  • Veterans have started arriving at Oceti Sakowin camp, aim to form a wall in front of police to protect the protesters
  • Native Americans and protesters say pipeline threatens water resources and sacred sites
  • Number of protesters in recent weeks has topped 1,000

Veterans volunteering to be human shields have been arriving at the Oceti Sakowin camp near the small town of Cannon Ball, where they will work with protesters who have spent months demonstrating against plans to route the Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Sioux reservation, organisers said.

The Native Americans and protesters said the $US3.8 billion pipeline threatened water resources and sacred sites.

Some of the more than 2,100 veterans who signed up on the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group’s Facebook page are at the camp, with hundreds more expected during the weekend.

Tribal leaders asked the veterans, who aim to form a wall in front of police to protect the protesters, to avoid confrontation with authorities and not get arrested.

The plan was for veterans to gather in Eagle Butte, a few hours away, and then travel by bus to the main protest camp, organisers said, adding that a big procession was planned for Monday.

Protesters began setting up tents, tepees and other structures in April and the numbers swelled in August at the main camp.

Joshua Tree, 42, from Los Angeles, who has been visiting the camp for weeks at a time since September, said he felt pulled to the protest.

“Destiny called me here,” he said at the main camp.

Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Pussy Riot petition Obama

Adding to the momentum of the protests, more than 150 musicians including members of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Moby and Tegan & Sara have signed an open letter calling on President Barack Obama to “revoke the permits” for the pipeline construction.

British recording artist Kate Nash organised the petition in order to take a stand against what she describes as the “extremely aggressive tactics” used by police against the activists.

The letter, addressed to “President Obama, Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Justice”, compared the treatment of activists by police to “inhumane methods used during WWII”.

“We call on the White House to deny the easement now, revoke the permits, remove the DAPL construction workers, and order a full environmental impact statement,” the letter said.

“Know that the world’s eyes and the eyes of the music community are on you now as you continue to disregard the treaties you have with the Native American people and act barbarically towards them.”

Nash told Vice News’ Noisey wesbite that now more than ever it is important for musicians to be using their influence for political ends.

“Donald Trump is to become president, people connected to Trump are heiling in meetings, there’s a normalisation of white supremacists. It’s a very important time for us to be holding America to account,” she said.

‘It’s time for them to go home’

The activists’ voices have been heard by companies linked to the pipeline as well, including banks that have been targeted by protesters for their financing of the pipeline……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-03/us-military-veterans-back-north-dakota-pipeline-protests/8089562

December 5, 2016 - Posted by | climate change, USA

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