Ryan Marx, a recent Kent State master’s graduate and Army veteran, has decided to join other members of a group called Veterans for Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.7 billion, 1,172-mile oil pipeline, which is expected to connect the Bakken and Three Forks production areas in North Dakota to existing pipelines in Illinois.
Marx will take a 30-hour van trip with about 10 other veterans and gather with other military personnel at Standing Rock, N.D., where protestors have been met with tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and concussion grenades and concerns exist over a water supply that serves 20 million people.
What motivated you to want to travel to Standing Rock?
“The Veterans for Standing Rock. Veterans sometimes enjoy enormous political capital (when they are in the public eye, not so much when out of it), and I thought that I might be able to spend this capital in a useful way. The mistreatment of protesters, including the use of water cannons in subzero temperatures, is an egregious violation of rights. Furthermore, American Indians have been vocal in their opposition to the pipeline, and have been mistreated for centuries. The final straw in my decision was this: If I go and the pipeline gets built anyway, then I know that I’ve done all that I can. If I don’t go, and the pipeline gets built, then I’ll always wonder if I could have prevented it.”
What do you plan to accomplish by this trip?
“I hope to bring the national spotlight on the plight of the American Indians. Ideally, this will result in cancellation of the pipeline. Even if it doesn’t, I hope that our solidarity will cause Americans to better scrutinize future pipeline proposals.”
Marx has a master’s degree in philosophy, applied and professional ethics and worked as an intern at International Institute of Akron, along with coordinating a summer debate program for the nonprofit.
He referred us to the Veterans for Standing Rock GoFundMePage, which states:
“We are veterans of the United States Armed Forces, including the U.S. Army, United States Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard and we are calling for our fellow veterans to assemble as a peaceful, unarmed militia at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation on Dec 4 through 7 and defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security.”
He says the best way to help is to provide moral support, further the dialogue in your community, and possibly make a donation here: