The son of retired U.S. Army General Wesley Clark heads a veterans’ group committed to preventing law enforcement from evacuating Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. The group plans to arrive at the encampment Sunday.
The group will supplement the few veterans who already arrived at one of the encampments earlier in the week and and demanded that law enforcement lay down their firearms.
The younger Clark graduated from Georgetown University and served four years in the Army before moving to Hollywood to pursue a writing career. (He does not appear to have any screenwriting credits in his 20-year career.)
Clark, whose Facebook page lists his interests as “history, music, gaming, futurology, foreign affairs, sex and saving the planet,” is a climate activist who protests against oil companies. Law enforcement claims he “supports activists who commit crimes to stop oil pipelines, which he believes is supported by his Christian beliefs.”
He claims the Standing Rock protests are more about issues related to clean water and the U.S. Government acknowledging a promise to pay the tribe revenue created by a river dam. Clark has claimed he would “instantly” turn over to police any protesters committing violence, but then claimed it’s the police who are instigating violence.
However, the North Dakota Veterans Coordinating Council sent a letter to the “Veterans Stand for Standing Rock” group asking them not to go to the southern part of the state where the protest camps are located, the Associated Press reported, because tension would likely increase and place a burden on law enforcement, Council president Russ Stabler said.
Stabler, who said that the Council has no opinion on the pipeline, also said the veterans coming to Standing Rock have been misinformed and should not be advancing a movement that has “broken laws, destroyed property and attacked law enforcement.”
But, he added, “They intend on coming anyhow.”
There are a “lot of different emotions and opinions” about the protest, and the veterans from across the country aren’t going to be swayed by the letter from Stabler, Veterans Stand for Standing Rock spokeswoman Ashleigh Jennifer Parker told The AP.
The main protest camp, Oceti Sakowin, is on federal land. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said because of the severe cold winter ahead, all federal lands north of the Cannonball River – including the camp — will be closed to the public on Monday, and Gov. Jack Dalrymple issued a mandatory evacuation of the camp, but both have said that protesters will not be forced to evacuate.