San Diego veterans stand with Dakota Access pipeline protesters - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego veterans stand with Dakota Access pipeline protesters

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BISMARCK, N.D. (AP/ CBS 8) — Dozens of local veterans leave for North Dakota to stand with protesters of the Dakota Access pipeline project. 

Veterans left Friday on two chartered buses from the Fashion Valley Transit Center. 

Military veterans plan to gather at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota next week to show their support for those camped in protest of the four-state Dakota Access pipeline.

Veterans Stand for Standing Rock says 2,000 veterans will gather Sunday in Fort Yates, which is on the reservation. The organization says they'll be bused to the protesters' main camp on Monday and spend most of Tuesday and Wednesday on the front lines.

The group has set up a page at GoFundMe.com to raise money for food, transportation and supplies. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had raised nearly $700,000 of its $1 million goal.

The pipeline is designed to carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Opponents, including the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, say it will harm drinking water and cultural sites.

Military veterans who have arrived at an encampment to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline walked into an area that has been blocked off by police and asked the officers standing guard there to lay down their arms.

A group of 15 to 20 veterans, some wearing camouflage jackets, staged the symbolic protest on Thursday evening to show their solidarity with opponents of the pipeline slated to carry oil from western North Dakota to Illinois.

Using a megaphone, police told the veterans to move away because they were trespassing. The veteran shouted back that they had served their country and had a right to be there.

The protest lasted about 40 minutes on a cold evening with snow on the ground, forcing the veterans to scramble over mounds of snow during the peaceful demonstration.

Donations, including salt and winter clothing are being sought for the local veterans heading to North Dakota. Supplies can be dropped off at  the World Beat Center in Balboa Park. 

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