BBMAs 2018

Neil Young Pens Letter Urging Obama to 'End the Violence' Against Standing Rock Protesters

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Neil Young photographed on May 18, 2016.

Neil Young recently celebrated his 71st birthday by traveling to Standing Rock to perform for the individuals gathered at the site protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The musician and activist has been vocal about the current protests and expressed his concerns in a statement posted to Facebook on Monday (Nov. 28), in which he reflected on his visit to Standing Rock and asked Obama to rectify the current situation before it gets any worse. 

"Standing together in prayer to protect water displays a deeply rooted awareness of life's interconnected nature, and of the intrinsic value and import of traditional ways," he wrote. "This growing movement stems from love, it is the most human instinct to protect that which we love."

Despite the hundreds of people standing in solidarity and peacefully protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline, Young wrote that protesters are met with "violent aggression" from law enforcement. "Standing while being hit with water cannons, mace, tear gas, rubber bullets. Standing without weapons and praying, the water protectors endure human rights abuses in sub freezing temperatures," Young writes. "Thus, it is the ugliness of corporate America, seen around the world."

The rocker later calls upon President Obama "to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately" before discussing President-elect Donald Trump's role in the crisis. "The surprise president claims he does not believe in climate science nor the threats it presents and his actions and words reflect that claim in tangible and dangerous ways," he continued. "Those who behave in racist ways are not your leaders. The golden tower is not yours. The White House is your house."

Young later ends by encouraging the public to "stand, speak up."

"Be like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock. Be there if you can," he wrote as he concluded the moving letter. "The progress we have made over two hundred and forty years as a nation, has always come first from the people."

Read the full post below.