Local group to join veterans at Standing Rock

Local group to join veterans at Standing Rock

SPOKANE, Wash. - There's new confrontation over the Dakota Access Pipeline as protesters near the Cannonball River have been ordered to leave immediately, and now a local group plans to meet with protesters in their fight.

At Vets Garage in Downtown Spokane, several veterans are planning a road trip unlike any other. On Thursday, they plan to pack up an old school bus and head to North Dakota to protest with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

"We don't think it's right that 17 million people's water should be at risk," said David Bisland, who is helping to organize the event. "And so the veterans of this country are going to Standing Rock to stand with Standing Rock!"

The tribe is protesting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. They say it could affect their drinking water supply, and put downstream communities at risk for oil leaks and spill.

So, Spokane's local vets will be joining about 2,000 veterans from around the country who plan to join protesters. They've been collecting supplies, preparing for just about anything.

"Yesterday I was actually given a bunch of gear from a friend who does estate sales. I've got a bunch of wool blankets, a few sleeping bags, some leathers to help protection against rubber bullets," said Garret Dupont, who is also helping to organize the protest.

This afternoon, the group heading to North Dakota met at a Denny's restaurant to discuss plans for the trip. Rachel Monto is not a vetera, but plans to travel with the group, because for her this is personal.

"I'm native, Cherokee Nation, and I think what's happening to our people right now is absolute genocide," she said.

Over the weekend the Army Corps ordered protesters to leave Cannonball River by December 5th or face arrest. The standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it has no intention of leaving.

This all comes after violent clashes with protesters last week, in which protesters were confronted with tear gas and rubber bullets. But, the Army Corps says its order for demonstrators to leave is for the safety of the general public.