Earlier this week, Chicago rapper Vic Mensa posted a series of photos on Instagram showing solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux's resistance against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Since April, thousands of Native and non-Native activists have gathered in Cannonball, North Dakota, to camp and peacefully protest the crude oil pipeline that infringes on tribal sovereignty and threatens the Missouri River, a direct water source for the Standing Rock and millions of Americans downstream.
I've been at #StandingRock for the last 3 days, and the experience has been amazing. If you're not in tune with what's going on here, Standing Rock is an Indian reservation where a major oil company is trying to drill a pipeline underneath the river that supplies drinking water for millions of people on and off of the reservation. Drilling that oil pipeline could contaminate the livelihood of so many people, primarily indigenous people of this land that have been systematically destroyed since Europeans arrived in America. Thousands of people have come from all over the world to Standing Rock to stop that pipeline from being drilled and protect the water.
A photo posted by Vic Mensa (@vicmensa) on Nov 28, 2016 at 1:48pm PST
For three days, Mensa traveled to North Dakota to support the indigenous activists, who call themselves water protectors, on the front lines. An impassioned Mensa enlightened his followers, taking to social media to highlight the political and social struggles of Native American communities and making larger connections to Black Lives Matter and the water issues in Flint, Michigan. In a Facebook Live video, Mensa touched on the police brutality and violence the water protectors have faced in the past few months -- including tear gas, attack dogs, rubber bullets, concussion grenades and even water cannons in below-freezing temperatures. Hundreds of unarmed activists have been injured and arrested throughout the months.
standing rock is the most important struggle to support right now. what has been done to native americans for 500+ years cant continue
- vino (@VicMensa) November 28, 2016
Because of underrepresentation in mainstream media, the #NoDAPL movement has largely been documented through social media and benefits greatly when allies such as Mensa and Neil Young support it with their platforms. Mensa announced he will be returning to Standing Rock on Sunday to protest the North Dakota governor's camp evacuation order.
if you believe in the inalienable rights of people; the right to clean drinking water, the right to food & shelter and the right to freedom then you have to support standing rock. Get on a plane, drive, take a bus do whatever you have to do. December 5th the Army Corps has set an ultimatum for the people camped at standing rock, saying that they will forcibly remove the water protectors. When one of our freedom is on the line all of our freedom is on the line. Fight for freedom.
A photo posted by Vic Mensa (@vicmensa) on Nov 28, 2016 at 2:28pm PST