The thousands of protesters already camped out in defiance of the Dakota Access Pipeline are about to get reinforcements in the form of hundreds of veterans, Stars and Stripes reports. As many as 2,000 vets will arrive in North Dakota on Sunday with the goal of "protecting the protesters," Marine Corps veteran Anthony Diggs says. “There is a lot of power in veterans from all over, from all branches of the military, coming together to create a protecting front against the police, who are militarized themselves,” he says. But the vets aren't just bringing symbolism; they've raised around half a million dollars to help protesters get through the winter and are bringing supplies, lawyers, and more.
The vets are expected to arrive the day before the Army Corp of Engineers had ordered protesters to abandon their camp on federal land. But while the Army Corps has since said it won't force protesters off the land, North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued an "emergency evacuation" of the camp Monday in the face of an oncoming blizzard, Reuters reports. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says it has no plans to move, and its chairman points out it's ironic that Dalrymple is suddenly concerned about cold protesters days after police sprayed them with fire hoses. Contrary to previous reports, Dalrymple won't block food and supplies from getting to protesters as part of the evacuation, according to the AP. A spokesperson says that had been "misconstrued." (Read more Dakota Access Pipeline stories.)