By Amanda Wicks
Neil Young and girlfriend Daryl Hannah penned an open letter about the Standing Rock protest, which he shared via his official Facebook page.
In the lengthy post, Young detailed the protestors’ peaceful mission. “The camp grows as winter comes. Standing in protection of our most vital life support systems, but also for the rightful preservation of Native American cultural ways and their sovereignty,” he wrote. “Everyone we talk with is committed to peaceful resistance. Weapons alcohol and drugs are forbidden there.”
But authorities had responded with violence, spraying protestors with cold water in freezing temperatures and firing rubber bullets into the crowd. He asked President Obama to issue a mandate. “We are calling upon you, President Barack Obama, to step in and end the violence against the peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock immediately,” Young wrote.
Young went on to call Donald Trump the “surprise president,” and said that even though Trump doesn’t believe in climate change that at least his election had spurred activism. He encouraged everyone to keep up the fight. “Unintimidated, stand, speak up and show up. Be counted. Be like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock,” he wrote. “Be there if you can. The progress we have made over two hundred and forty years as a nation, has always come first from the people.”
Read Young’s full statement below.