Over two thousand veterans have begun arriving at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in North Dakota, intending to form a “human shield” protecting the protesters from the violent militarized police force that is defending the desecrating construction company.
The protesters, which number in the thousands, have been fighting to halt the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline which would desecrate lands sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and threaten the health of local water supplies. The police have been openly violating human rights with their intimidation tactics, setting attack dogs on protesters, sexually humiliating protesters with strip-searches and cavity exams, and arresting hundreds on trumped up charges.
After that failed to break the spirit of the protesters, the police escalated the violence last week when they deployed tear gas, concussion grenades, and rubber bullets into the crowds of resisters. One protester may have to have her arm amputated after a shell brutally tore her muscles apart and another may lose her sight from the tear gas. They followed that up with water cannons in sub-zero temperatures, causing hundreds to be treated for hypothermia.