In the days immediately following Trump’s executive order allowing the Dakota Access pipeline to be built, Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service leader Ben Gibbard organized an all-ages solo performance to benefit Standing Rock on Sunday, March 5 at Showbox. He’ll be joined by Stranger Genius Award-winning author Sherman Alexie and folk/afro-soul singer Naomi Wachira.
Tickets go on sale today.
Over the past few months, the water protectors engaging in the anti-DAPL actions at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota represent a striking mobilization of Native American and environmental resistance that (eventually) made the mainstream news.
Declaring the events at the Standing Rock Reservation “an ongoing fight for justice," Gibbards said in a statement:
I arranged this benefit because I was appalled by Donald Trump's executive order to reinstate construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline. I believe water is more precious than oil and thoroughly support the right of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to defend both their land and sovereign treaty rights.
Proceeds from the show will go towards the Water Protector Legal Collective (WPLC), the legal team that supports the resistance camps at Standing Rock by providing on-the-ground defense for those arrested, and advocating legally for the sovereign rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
And after yesterday’s rulings, it sounds like they’ll need that support more than ever. In response to Trump’s order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers allowed the easement that gives the Dakota Pipeline the go-ahead – and Energy Transfer Partners permission - to start drilling.
On top of that, a federal judge denied the Water Protectors’ request for a preliminary injunction prohibiting law enforcement from using grenades and water cannons to break up pipeline protests.
Back in November, Gibbard signed an open letter along with 289 other musicians (a list so diverse across genres that it included Kathleen Hanna, Alicia Keys, and Billy Ray Cyrus), asking President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers to deny the easement for the Dakota Access pipeline to be built, and to order a full environment assessment of its impact. Which (more likely because of the protests and public pressure than just the letter itself), they did.
So much has changed since then.