(Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to include comments from Wes Clark Jr. and Michael Woods Jr.)
One of the organizers of the Veterans for Standing Rock rally is now claiming the planning staff was comprised of private military contractors.
Seven months after thousands of veterans came to support the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline, one of the organizers is claiming the Veterans for Standing Rock rally was infiltrated by private military contractors. The action was organized by Wes Clark Jr. and Michael A. Wood Jr., a Marine Corps veteran who recently retired from the Baltimore police force to focus on reforming law enforcement. Clark Jr. is a long time correspondent for The Young Turks. He is also the son of General Wesley Clark who infamously warned that the U.S. government was planning the invasions of seven nations following the 9/11 attacks.
On Sunday morning, Wes Clark Jr. revealed the details via a Facebook status.
I need you all to share this with every person who went or contributed to Veterans Stand for Standing Rock last…
“I need you all to share this with every person who went or contributed to Veterans Stand for Standing Rock last December.” Clark Jr. wrote on Facebook. “I did not realize at the time but some of our planning staff were paid military contractors working for the other side.”
Presumably, the “other side” is referring to the police and/or Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline. Clark Jr. goes on to warn participants of the veterans action that these military contractors have their personal details on file and at some point may “round them up.”
They have the names, emails, addresses, phone numbers and personal information for each and every one of us that went out there or contributed money to the cause of protecting both our environment and our Constitution. Please be cognizant of the fact that all of us are on a list and that if there is civil disorder in this country, we will be the first people rounded up.
When questioned further on his comments, Clark Jr. said early on he figured out who a couple of the contractors were after watching them cause “chaos and dissension within the camp.” Clark Jr. describes watching the online activity of a few individuals for six months. When asked if he would provide names of suspected military contractors, Clark Jr. named Loreal Black Shawl, Mark Sanderson and Ed Higgins.
“The others I don’t have as solid proof about but I’ve heard there were almost 150 different contractors who infiltrated the group,” Clark Jr. told Activist Post. “The use of private military contractors in the service of oil companies on American soil against American citizens is a threat to our democracy.”
Michael Woods Jr. told Activist Post, “Of course they tried, I am not sure of a solid link, but I would not be surprised. It seemed every step was unnecessarily difficult.”
All three of the people accused of being military contractors reached out to Activist Post to share their stories.
I’m not a PMC nor have I ever been, I’ve always been true to the cause as proved by my founding of VeteransRespond and return missions to SR. Wes’ allegations are flat out false. – Mark Sanderson
I was there long before Wes Clark showed up and long after his three night stay at south camp prairie knights. I came of my own free will, documented my journey there, my journey being there and my journey when I left was heavily documented. There is no way I am military contractor. – Ed Higgins
In regards to legit and honorable news sources publishing any statements from Wes Clark Jr. And Michael Woods Jr. (or anyone who worked for the Veterans Stand with Standing Rock organization in December) has to say about me being anything other than an honorable Native American veteran who went to assist her people in protecting the water, I would strongly encourage news organizations to request proof and evidence of these accusations. Fact checking and evidence of proof is the responsibility and duty of authentic journalism. – Loreal Black Shawl
The Veterans for Standing Rock event took place between December 4 through the 7. Amidst the freezing temperatures of the North Dakota winter, tens and thousands of veterans and supporters swelled the population of the Oceti Sakowin and Sacred Stone Camps. Following months of violence between native water protectors and their allies, Clark Jr. and Wood Jr. issued the call for veterans to come stand in defense of the Standing Rock Sioux in their fight against the DAPL.
“This country is repressing our people,” Wood Jr. told Task & Purpose. “If we’re going to be heroes, if we’re really going to be those veterans that this country praises, well, then we need to do the things that we actually said we’re going to do when we took the oath to defend the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic.”
It is important to remember that the same weekend the veterans and supporters flooded the camps the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that they would delay the permitting of the pipeline. Following the announcement the atmosphere of the camps was fairly cautious. There were celebrations, but there was also hesitation as water protectors wondered if the delay was anything more than a diversion or a temporary respite. Some pipeline opponents theorized that the flooding of veteran support and the announcement would actually serve as a release valve for the building opposition to the pipeline. Once the mainstream media left and the supporters left, the pipeline was pushed through by ETP and the Trump administration as expected.
Readers should also note that it was previously revealed that private military contractors TigerSwan (and likely others) were involved in aerial surveillance, infiltration of camps, and, according to one former employee, lighting their own vehicles on fire. Activist Post released exclusive video of vehicles being lit on fire by masked provocateurs.
If the words of Clark Jr. can be confirmed it would prove that private military contractors were involved in both the law enforcement battle against the water protectors, as well as the fight against the pipeline itself. This means the entire NoDAPL movement was infiltrated to one degree or another.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of three books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 1 and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion, Vol. 2
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact [email protected]
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