MAIN Coalition spokesman Craig Stevens today issued the following statement in response to reports that a number of veterans will be traveling to North Dakota next week to join protesters opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline:
“It’s important to remember that there are veterans on both sides of this issue who have served honorably to protect Americans’ right to protest, as well as Americans’ right to work and live in a safe and harassment-free environment. We respect the service of all veterans, yet the notion that some would descend upon Cannon Ball as self-purported ‘human shields’ is both unnerving and unnecessary. Protesters have had, and taken, the ongoing opportunity to protest for several months. Only when protesters have broken the law have they been arrested or asked to disperse.
“All Americans have the Constitutionally protected right to peaceably protest. However, as the weather worsens, emotions rise, and tensions escalate we remain concerned for the safety of law enforcement peacekeepers, protesters, and workers. We urge the Obama Administration to abide by the rule of law and acknowledge the intensifying situation in Cannon Ball by issuing the already-approved easement for construction abutting Lake Oahe so that life can return to normal in the area.”