News
The No. 1 Source For Breaking Music and Film Headlines

Members of Radiohead, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day sign Standing Rock open letter to Obama

on December 02, 2016, 3:53pm

Photos by Heather Kaplan (Kate Nash, Green Day) and Philip Cosores (Sia)

British artist Kate Nash has enlisted more than 120 of her fellow musicians to sign an open letter to President Obama, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Justice expressing their solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe in the ongoing battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Those signing alongside Nash include Sia, Kathleen Hanna, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, and Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses.

As a bit of background, the Standing Rock Sioux have gathered in North Dakota to fight the construction of a pipeline being built by Energy Transfer Partners to transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The tribe’s primary concern is the pipeline’s proposed path, which would travel beneath the Missouri River and risk contaminating their main water supply. The Sioux also claim that the pipeline would travel through sacred grounds granted to them as part of the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. Over the past several weeks, thousands have traveled to Standing Rock to show their support for the tribe, forming a makeshift camp on the proposed construction site.

Nash’s letter explicitly asks President Obama to “revoke the permits, remove the DAPL construction workers, and order a full environmental impact statement in formal consultation with impacted tribal governments.” It also acknowledges troubling reports that police have been using violent methods in reaction to peaceful, non-violent protests. The letter begins:

We are writing to express our shock at the treatment of the people of Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. We are deeply disturbed by the police actions that have been taking place, where non violent protests have been and continue to be met with extremely aggressive tactics including; being shot with water canons in below freezing temperatures, chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. These are the same inhumane methods used during WWII and the Civil Rights Movement.

Though President Obama has made bold claims about his administration’s support for Native Americans, he has yet to comment decisively on the matter of Standing Rock. His successor, President-elect Donald Trump, has also been notably silent on the issue.

Read Nash’s letter in its entirety below, via Noisey. Other signing musicians include Moby, Tegan and Sara, Ed O’Brien of Radiohead, and Billy Bragg.

Dear President Obama, Army Corps of Engineers, and Department of Justice,

We are writing to express our shock at the treatment of the people of Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. We are deeply disturbed by the police actions that have been taking place, where non violent protests have been and continue to be met with extremely aggressive tactics including; being shot with water canons in below freezing temperatures, chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. These are the same inhumane methods used during WWII and the Civil Rights Movement.

We feel strongly in the current political climate that those in power must be held accountable for their actions. We stand behind and urge you to take action regarding the following requests made in the coalition statement released on November 27th, 2016:

“WE CALL ON THE WHITE HOUSE TO DENY THE EASEMENT NOW, REVOKE THE PERMITS, REMOVE THE DAPL CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, AND ORDER A FULL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT IN FORMAL CONSULTATION WITH IMPACTED TRIBAL GOVERNMENTS. PUT AN END TO THE VIOLENCE.”

We encourage you to remember that this planet provides for us, not the other way around. Water is life and this cannot be underestimated or taken for granted in 2016.

We are aware of the long and painful history between the US and its indigenous people. Know that the world’s eyes and the eyes of the music community are on you now as you continue to disregard the treaties you have with the Native American people and act barbarically towards them.

Standing Rock we stand with you.

Yours Sincerely,

Kate Nash • Hayley Williams, Paramore • Sia • Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day • Walk The Moon • Sleigh Bells • Ingrid Michaelson • Motion City Soundtrack • Moby • Tegan & Sara • Sky Ferreira • Tove Lo • Lykke Li • KT Tunstall • Kimya Dawson • Karen O • HOLYCHILD • Liz Phair • JoJo • JD Samson • Kathleen Hanna • Johanna Fateman • Jack Antonoff • Rizzle Kicks • Ed O’Brien, Radiohead • Nick Mason, Pink Floyd • Duff Mckagan, Guns & Roses • Billy Bragg • Bethany Cosentino, Best Coast • Ben Gibbard, Death Cab for Cutie • Black Kids • Cold War Kids • Clem Creevy, Cherry Glazerr • Emmy The Great • First Aid Kit • FIDLAR • PARTYBABY • Bleached • Jenny Lee Lindberg, Warpaint • SWMRS • Julia Cumming, Sunflower Bean • Deap Vally • Jungle • Kiran Ghandi • Lizzie Plapinger, MSMR • Marina & The Diamonds • Natasha Bedingfield • Pussy Riot • Parson James • Santigold • Rumer Shirakbari • Samantha Urbani • Rachel Trachtenburg • Mitch Grassi, Pentatonix • Louise Post, Veruca Salt • Skating Polly • Lori Barbero & Kat Bjellend, Babes in Toyland • Kojak • Gin Wigmore • Dispatch • Bonnie Mckee • Seth Bogart, Hunx • RAT BOY • Christina Perri • Asia Whittacre • Jackie Tohn • Lapsley • Chloe Latimer Kloe • Chris Desjardins, Flesh Eaters • Alex Didonato, Finish Ticket • Chris Porterfield, Field Report • Jenn Wasner, Flock of Dimes • Matt & Kim • Sandie Shaw • Tyson Meade, Chainsaw Kittens • Zak Starkey • Kliph Scurlock • Justin Tranter • Daya • Julia Michaels • Alicia Warrington • Ashton Irwin, 5 Seconds of Summer • X • Jesse Malin, D Generation • Mario Cuomo, The Orwells • Spankrock • Andro • Lucius • Alice Glass • Anna Bulbrook • Jessica Gelt • Tom Biller • Justin Young, The Vaccines • Julia Nunes • Rain Phoenix • Fitz & The Tantrums • Sara Bareilles • Young Volcanoes • Kellin Quinn, Sleeping With Sirens • Cadien James, Twin Peaks • Adam Slack, The Struts • Andrea McMahon • OKGO • Andy Stack, Wye Oak • Deerhoof • Amanda Blank • A Great Big World • Laura Jane Grace & James Bowman, Against Me! • Lights • Lyndsey Gunnulfsen & Alex Babinski & Brian MacDonald, PVRIS • Vic Mensa • Fat Mike • Night Birds • Propagandhi • Lagwagon • Mark Ronson • Gorgon City • Erik Hassle • Steve Aoki • Atlas Genius • Troye Sivan • Hana Pestle, HANA • Shirley Manson

Those wishing to support the musicians’ effort can donate directly to the Standing Rock camp and legal defense fund via Sacred Stone Camp.

1 comment