C Flanigan/FilmMagic – Getty Images
Neil Young performs during the 30th Anniversary Bridge School Benefit Concert at Shoreline Amphitheater on October 23, 2016 in Mountain View, California.

Neil Young Rocks Standing Rock on 71st Birthday

Konnie LeMay

Neil Young’s 71st-birthday wish came true on Saturday among the water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Oceti Sakowin camp in North Dakota.

On his Facebook page, the Canadian singer/songwriter/activist posted:

“got my birthday wish today
my girl took me to #StandWithStandingRock
those who damage Mother Earth
damage us all
forgive them
they don’t yet see.”

His unannounced visit helps promote the cause of the protectors, and his post has received 818,000 views, 84,000 likes and more than 12,000 shares so far.

The Facebook post included a one-minute video of him strolling and strumming his way through the crowds of water protectors, many of whom have been there for months.

Young’s new album, “Peace Trail,” is to be released Dec. 9, and includes a song “Indian Givers” in support of the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) spanning Standing Rock Sioux traditional lands and crossing under the Missouri River.

In the YouTube video of “Indian Givers,” released last month, as reported on by ICTMN, shows scenes from the months-long protest, including the arrest of elders, marches and police actions interspersed with Young, wearing a “Protect” T-shirt and driving through the land.

“There’s a battle raging on the sacred land.
Our brothers and sisters had to take a stand
against us now for what we’ve all been doin’.
On the sacred land, there’s a battle brewing. …
I wish somebody would share the news.”

His refrain – “I wish somebody would share the news” – reflects the bewildering but consistent lack of mainstream coverage of the protests.

So far, Young’s appearance on Saturday has been reported by music media like Rolling Stone, Spin and TeamRock, but for mainstream media it looks as if only the Canadian CBC so far has picked up the story.

Young has a history of standing with Native communities and against big oil companies in the United States and Canada. He joined Willie Nelson in Nebraska in 2014 for a protest concert against the Keystone XL pipeline and Young again used a song, “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?” to spread word about the dangers of the pipeline in 2014.

In 2014 and 2015, he did a series of “Honor the Treaties” concerts, fundraising for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nations fighting expansion of the oil sands extraction in Alberta.

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Sammy7's picture
Submitted by Sammy7 on
What would President Lyndon Johnson, a White mans legacy be if he had not sent in Federal Troops to Alabama in 1965 to stop the beatings, killings, and oppression of Black People? Imagine what President Obama, a Black mans legacy will be for his failure to send in Federal Troops to protect American Indians in North Dakota? Sing about that Neil and wake some people up, especially in the White House.