Rock legend and activist Neil Young has been a vocal supporter of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline and expressed his concerns in a letter posted to Facebook.
The musician is such a staunch supporter of the protesters that he celebrated his 71st birthday by traveling to Standing Rock to perform for the people gathered at the site in protest.
In his letter, he reflects on his visit to Standing Rock, and asks President 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. This growing movement stems from love, it is the most human instinct to protect that which we love.”
Young wrote that despite the fact that the hundreds of people protesting are doing so peacefully, they are met with “violent aggression” from law enforcement.
“They stand against corporate security forces, the county sheriff and the National Guard. 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. … Thus, it is the ugliness of corporate America, seen around the world.
But they stand, their hair frozen from water cannons. They stand for all that is good and they stay strong.”
The legendary rocker then speaks to the President: “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 then speaks to the protesters urging them to continue to stand up to the incoming administration despite the fact that he believes it will be more hostile to them than the current one.
“Unintimidated, stand, speak up and show up. Be counted. Be like our brothers and sisters at Standing Rock. 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”