In mid-December, more than 17 artists and activists descended on Oakland’s New Parish to bring attention to the plight facing water protectors in Standing Rock, North Dakota. Since May 2016, folks have been valiantly fighting the Dakota Access Pipe Line (DAPL), which was to have gone through indigenous Lakota lands. In addition to raising awareness about DAPL, the concert was part of nationwide efforts to raise money for a Health Clinic to be built at Standing Rock.
The event featured a stellar cast of local performers covering a wide array of genres, including Aima the Dreamer, Boots Riley, Audiopharmacy, Raw-G, Locura, Dan the Automator, Bang Data, Equipto, Lia Rose, Tyson Amir, Grow Theory featuring A Plus of Hiero and Rupa and the April Fishes. The performers—who all volunteered their time—came prepared to be more than just heard, but spiritually-felt. The entire event was resonant, with each act bringing forth an unwavering commitment and conviction to the cause.
Everyone emphasized the understanding that the fight at Standing Rock was bigger than native Americans and their allies fighting to protect their reservation; the larger issues include the need to protect precious resources like clean drinking water —an increasing source of conflict around the world.
Words and Pictures by Davey D