An estimated 2,100 U.S. military veterans were bound for the frigid Northern Plains on Saturday in a mass show of support for Native Americans and their allies battling the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
The vets, organized under the banner “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock,” include 219 vets from California, many of whom departed in seven charter buses on Friday.
“Here’s a chance to use my energy as a vet and as a Native American,” said Robin Gage, 60, a former member of the California National Guard who organized transportation for the California veterans. Her grandmother was a member of the Choctaw Nation, from Louisiana.
“Quite frankly, I don’t like bullies,” said Gage, referring to North Dakota’s deployment of militarized police against opponents of the 1,172-mile, $3.8-billion pipeline, which would transport up to 570,000 barrels of oil a day.
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