British songstress, Kate Nash has enlisted the global music community – over one hundred and twenty key figures – to sign a letter to the current President of the United States on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux.
The United States’ news cycle has been streaming Donald Trump since he decided to ‘Make America Great Again’ and aside from him winning the general election, there are other issues happening across the Atlantic that aren’t so great either, and it’s taken one of the UK’s most prominent musician-cum-activists to rally the music industry: Kate Nash.
Nearly the entire Candid editorial team starred in Nash’s August-dropped single, Good Summer, so needless to say, we are fans. We also applaud her for never shying away from getting involved. Aside from being a platinum-selling, BRIT Award-winning singer and songwriter, Nash has fought for LGBTQs, freedom of speech, women’s rights, animal rights and against human brutality. She is adamant about using her voice and her elevated platform to protect those on the fringes and to invoke change.
Nash is on a mission to repeal the Dakota Access Pipeline, a project by Energy Transfer Partners to build a pipeline, which will transport oil from North Dakota to Illinois via a route that will go underneath the Missouri River, affecting the water supply and a sacred burial ground of the Sioux tribe of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Peaceful protests have been underway and met with alarming police response since April of 2016 with very little media coverage.
Step in Nash who wrote a letter to President Obama, The Army Corps of Engineers and Department of Justice stating: “We are writing to express our shock at the treatment of the people of Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota. We are deeply disturbed by the police actions that have been taking place, where non violent protests have been and continue to be met with extremely aggressive tactics including; being shot with water canons in below freezing temperatures, chemical weapons, rubber bullets, and attack dogs. These are the same inhumane methods used during WWII and the Civil Rights Movement.”
Inspired by Nash’s call to action, the music world has come forward and over one hundred and twenty musicians have joined her in co-signing the letter, lending their combined weight to the cause. Sia, Annie Lennox, Billy Bragg, Karen O, Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day, Moby, Vic Mensa, Tove Lo, Pixie Geldof, Mark Ronson, Lykke Li, JD Samson, Parson James, Ashton Erwin from 5 Seconds of Summer, Matt Healy of the 1975, Erik Hassle, Icona Pop, Steve Aoki, Jake Shears of Sister Sisters and Alicia Keys are amongst those who have penned their names.
Why should anyone but Americans be getting involved? Nash tells Noisey, “The importance is two-fold. America affects the entire globe culturally, financially and politically. Secondly, the story has been suppressed. Even in America the media aren’t reporting on it enough. Coverage of American issues around the globe is important at this time.”
To any other musicians who are interested in this cause, Nash goes on to say, “As an artist you have a platform and you are a leader. In 2016 it’s more important than ever to use your voice. I want to help us be part of a brighter, more positive future and I would urge other musicians to look to their heroes and hear their voices.”
Get involved via Standing Rock Community Action.
Words by Courtney Blackman