Award-winning singer and songwriters Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt will perform in a Standing Rock benefit concert. The concert was announced in a press release and Bad Dog, Ladonna Brave Bull Allard, and Joel Rafael will also participate. Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt join celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, Shailene Woodley, Riley Keough, and Susan Sarandon who have taken a boots to the ground approach in protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Other celebrities have shown their solidarity with the Native American tribes who are outraged over the desecration of their sacred lands and fear the pipeline will contaminate their water source by speaking out on social media network sites. The cast of the upcoming film Justice League released a video showing their solidarity with Standing Rock, and celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Pharrell Williams have joined their voices to the fight. You may see videos and tweets below. Proceeds from the Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt Standing Rock benefit concert will go to the Oceti Sakowin Camp. Oceti Sakowin is the correct name for the tribe commonly referred to as Sioux.
The Justice League cast along with Leonardo DiCaprio brought awareness to the Change.org petition “Rezpect Our Water.” The petition and Rezpect Our Water campaign is led by Oceti Sakowin youth.
The Dakota Access Pipeline (also referred to as DAPL), is approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is expected to cost $3.8 billion to complete. It aims to take oil from the Bakken oilfield located in North Dakota through a 1,170-mile pipeline, ultimately routing the oil to Illinois via the Missouri River. The proposed pipeline has been met with protests, because it runs through Native Americans sacred lands, including their burial grounds, as well as the river that is sacred to many tribes. As the nation focuses on the dangers of climate change, many also feel that this is not the time to rely on fossil fuels such as oil, but to embrace alternative energy sources.
Also at issue is the way Native American protesters and those who show solidarity with them are being treated. Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman covered the protests and was arrested. The charges were ultimately dismissed, but many find the arrests of journalists covering the treatment of Native American protesters (or water protectors as they prefer to be called), a violation of Freedom of the Press. Amy Goodman isn’t the only notable person who has been arrested. Actress and activist Shailene Woodley was not only arrested, but also strip searched.
While news of the ill-treatment of celebrities makes headlines, the reality of how the U.S. government is treating Native Americans is shameful. For every story that makes headlines because of the celebrity name attached, there are countless stories of everyday, Native Americans whose rights as U.S. citizens and First People are being trampled on. You may follow Democracy Now’s Dakota Access Pipeline topic for current and up-to-date information regarding the pipeline and water protectors fight.
If you need a quick refresher on what the Dakota Access Pipeline is and why so many people are protesting, you might find this two0-minute Grist video beneficial.
Jackson Browne released a statement regarding his part in the upcoming benefit concert.
“Just as we give thanks for our good fortune and the bounty of our lives as Americans, let us thank the Native people who are gathered here at Standing Rock to protect the natural world and defend our place in it.”
According to a Democracy Now report, Jackson Browne has another reason for wanting to perform at the benefit concert: Kelcy Warren. Warren is the billionaire CEO of Energy Transfer Partners and operates a small, folk music record label. He has stated that Jackson Browne is one of his favorite artists. Included below are two video reports by Amy Goodman exploring Kelcy Warren, his connection to the Dakota Access Pipeline as well as his connection to folk music.
Kelcy Warren is a long time Browne fan and released a tribute album to the artist. Browne responded.
Bonnie Raitt also released a statement regarding her involvement in the Standing Rock benefit concert.
“I’m proud to be standing in support of the courageous and dedicated Water Protectors at Standing Rock. This movement is growing by the day with solidarity actions happening around the country, yet the media isn’t covering it nearly enough. Our hope is that this concert will help bring more awareness and media attention to the issues being raised at Standing Rock, and to put pressure on The Obama Administration to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline until protection of sacred sites is ensured.”
The concert takes place on November 27, and tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. The concert will be held at the Prairie Knights Pavilion located in Fort Yates, North Dakota. You can purchase tickets here.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]