U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis

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By Red Power Media, Staff | Dec 06, 2016

The battle may be over for U.S. veterans supporting the Dakota Access pipeline opposition near Standing Rock, North Dakota, but they say their fight isn’t finished and they have a new destination — Flint, Michigan, where the crisis over the city’s contaminated water is still raging.

A few days after veterans started to arrive at the Oceti Sakowin camp amid frigid cold to support Native Americans protesting against the oil pipeline project, the Army Corps of Engineers denied on Dec. 4, a permit to build the uncompleted stretch of pipeline set to run under Lake Oahe.

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On Monday, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Chairman Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to return home after the federal government ruled against the controversial pipeline, despite the prospect of President-elect Donald Trump reversing the decision after he takes office.

Thousands of environmental activists and supporters joined the Tribe’s fight against the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access pipeline costing $3.8 billion.

USUncut.com reports, Wes Clark Jr., who organized a force of over 4,000 U.S. military veterans to mobilize for Standing Rock, said he’s planning a similar mobilization to help the people of Flint.

Flint resident Arthur Woodson, who is a veteran and a supporter of the Standing Rock protesters, said the veterans coming to Flint may help revive media attention on the community’s plight of tainted drinking water, and that the renewed public pressure could bring about an effective solution.

“All the media attention that was there brought more attention to Standing Rock. The government had a change of heart,” Woodson told the Journal.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

U.S. military veterans arrive at Standing Rock to help Native Americans in their battle against the Dakota Access oil pipeline.

According to Fusion.net, Clark was on hand at Standing Rock this weekend when protesters received news that the Army Corps of Engineers had denied an easement necessary for the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline along its current route—effectively, albeit temporarily, halting the project. Joining him there were thousands of vets who had traveled to Standing Rock, including several from Flint, who saw their participation in the NoDAPL protests as part of the larger struggle they have experienced in their hometown over the past year.

In a statement celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also linked the struggles at Standing Rock with those faced by the residents of Flint:

“Water is life; we cannot survive without it. Whether it’s the threat to essential water sources in this region, lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, the potential threat posed to our water by the Red Hill fuel storage facility on Oʻahu, or the many other threats to our water across our nation, we must act now to protect our precious water for current and future generations to come.

In Flint, drinking water was contaminated by lead seeping through pipes in 2014. City officials denied the leakage problem for months, causing a serious problem, NPR reported. High blood lead levels ensued as Flint residents drank the water, which was particularly harmful to children and pregnant women, causing learning disabilities in developing brains.

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President Obama declared a state of emergency earlier this year.

Unfortunately, the situation in Flint did not qualify for a major disaster declaration and was deemed a man-made disaster.

It is unclear when, and how, the veterans organized by Clark will make the trip to Flint.  

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4 thoughts on “U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis

  1. Pingback: U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis — RED POWER MEDIA | The Modern [AfroIndio] Times

  2. Pingback: U.S. Military Veterans at Standing Rock to Mobilize to Flint for Water Crisis | H2minusO Blog

  3. This is not correct to tell people to leave. Not all the elders, tribes, and camps were consulted. Here is a statement from Elder LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard, also of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Founder of Sacred Stone Camp ~

    “Chairman David Archambault may have had some back room discussion that has led to him suggesting that water protectors job is finished… but he must accept, along with everyone else, that this movement is far beyond the words or ideas of any one man/woman. It’s disappointing to hear him speak in the way he has today… but his role has always been as the political head-piece of this, while the grandmothers have been the heart and soul. This is their vision, and in their guidance we find our truths. We stay, as LaDonna and all others say we stay. They created Sacred Stone Camp, and in their hearts and words and spirit we have all found inspiration and purpose!! This has not ended… it’s just barely begun!!!” #stayvigilant #NoDAPL #DefundDAPL #MniWiconi #waterprotectors

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