Vietnam veteran at Dakota Access Pipeline protest: 'This is an i - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vietnam veteran at Dakota Access Pipeline protest: 'This is an issue for everyone'

Posted: Updated:
CANNON BALL, N.D. -

The Latest on the Dakota Access pipeline protest (all times local):
    
1:30 p.m.
    
A Vietnam veteran who's part of a Michigan tribe says he came to the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp because the issue of water quality is "an issue for everyone."
    
Sixty-six-year-old Steven Perry is from Traverse City, Michigan, and a member of the Little Traverse Bay band of Odawa Indians. He came to help at the Oceti Sakowin camp, which is on federal land in southern North Dakota, as part of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group.
    
Perry says: "When we fought for this country, we fought for everyone."
    
The group had said about 2,000 veterans were going to the camp, where several hundred people have for months protested the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline, but it wasn't clear how many actually arrived.
    
The government has ordered people to leave the main encampment by Monday, but demonstrators say they're prepared to stay. Federal, state and local authorities say they won't forcibly remove the protesters.
    
___
    
1:25 p.m.
    
An organizer with the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock has told a gathering of veterans near the Dakota Access pipeline protest site that elders have asked they have no confrontations with authorities.
    
Organizer Wes Clark Jr., the son of former Democratic presidential candidate Gen. Wesley Clark, spoke to about 250 veterans Sunday afternoon.
    
State authorities have said they talked with the veterans group and will move away Sunday afternoon from the Blackwater Bridge that's north of the Oceti Sakowin camp on federal land if protesters agree to certain conditions.
    
Wes Clark Jr. spoke of that agreement, saying the National Guard and law enforcement have armored vehicles and are armed. He added: "If we come forward, they will attack us."
    
The group had said about 2,000 veterans were going to the camp, where several hundred people have for months protested the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline, but it wasn't clear how many actually arrived. Clark asked veterans to help out anyone who needs it at camp.
    
___
    
11:10 a.m.
    
A Navy veteran and Harvard graduate student says he came to the Dakota Access pipeline protest camp because he thought they could use his help.
    
Twenty-nine-year-old Art Grayson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, said he came to the encampment as part of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock group. He flew, then met up with other veterans and rode the final leg of the trip from Bismarck in the back of a pickup truck.
    
Hundreds of veterans are expected to come to the camp on federal land, where several hundred people have been in protest of the four-state, $3.8 billion pipeline for months.
    
Grayson said that he "couldn't stand by and watch people being abused." He has finals this week, but told his professors "I'll see you when I get back."
    
The group's GoFundMe.com page had raised more than $1 million of its $1.2 million goal on Sunday, which is to go toward food, transportation and supplies.
    
___
    
7:25 a.m.
    
Authorities in North Dakota say they'll move away from a bridge near the main Dakota Access pipeline protest camp by Sunday afternoon if demonstrators agree to certain conditions.
    
A Morton County Sheriff's Office news release details the conditions as outlined Saturday by Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney, which he said are meant to de-escalate conflict.
    
They include staying in the Oceti Sakowin camp that's south of the Backwater Bridge, coming to it only if there is a prearranged meeting with law enforcement and not removing barriers.
    
Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman Dave Archambault and Gov. Jack Dalrymple have agreed to meet. Archambault told the Bismarck Tribune this weekend that he wanted the blockade on the bridge, damaged in late October during a protest, lifted.
    
Hundreds of veterans are due to gather Sunday on the reservation.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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