December 5 will see the closing of all lands north of the Cannonball River. The Army Corps of Engineers made the announcement, stating the closing of the Oceti Sakowin protest camp will also occur.

Further plans to swell protestor numbers on Dec. 4 to 7, as veterans by the hundreds plan to help defend the land in what has been described as a “military [like] unit.”

The Go Fund Me page “Veterans for Standing Rock #NoDAPL” released this statement:

“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 4-7 and defend the water protectors from assault and intimidation at the hands of the militarized police force and DAPL security.”

The roster of veterans is said to stand at over 2,100 members who plan on coordinating a shift roster.

“It’s time to display that honor, courage, and commitment we claim to represent. It’s time for real Patriots. Now more than ever, it’s time for anyone and everyone to lead.”

The expectation of those already assisting with and acting as protection for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP)—the company behind the DAPL project—will be to see the protestors forcibly cleared out. This will likely occur with the assistance of the National Guard and “militarized police forces,” The Free Thought Project predicts.

And it’s not an unwarranted prediction.

Unicorn Riot questioned the origins of militarized police funding. Obtained emails via a public records request, showed riot gear, back to back shifts, and armoured vehicles deployed were listed among “time sheets” and paperwork to be filled out by “law enforcement logging overtime hours after working #NoDAPL protests.”

Tyler Falk responded to the Stutsman County Sheriff Department’s April Anderson:

“I’ll ultimately be paid by the oil people dealing with the protests. I’m guessing when all of that is finally over and the dust settles, the oil company is going to want all the paperwork for reimbursement. I figured I should have some formal form instead of writing hours on a napkin (smiley face). Thanks.” 

As Unicorn Riot points out, the “oil company” is the ETP. Unicorn Riot stated there is no direct evidence of ETP paying the police, however, the email does suggest otherwise.

ETP’s CEO Kelsy Warren told CBS how the company was willing and offering to pay for the costs incurred by the protests. According to CBS reporter Mark Alpert, the authorities have yet to accept the offer.

If the police are to be paid by the ETP, the ballgame has changed. The police then become nothing short of mercenaries—private guns for hire.