Oshun, Bunny Michael, Laura Ortman | Standing Rock Benefit At Silent Barn
What felt more like an art exhibit, featured the strength, solidarity, and high-mindedness our local artists at Bushwick’s Silent Barn venue. The concert was headlined by Oshun, with performances by Bunny Michael, Native artist Laura Ortman, Professor Caveman, as well as a powerful piece on water as a human right by Esoteric Ayanna.
New York’s organizing efforts against DAPL have officially picked up steam in the past month. It was great to see organizing happening on the live music stage as well after all the rallies that launched the NoDAPL movement here in the Big Apple. The art scene of course has blended into movements like Defund Dapl, where artists show up at banks and stage protests, singing songs, holding signs, and sending their message straight to Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan, but they’re hardly all flash and no sweat, Defund Dapl has defunded 22 Million dollars across the country and have been endorsed by Black Lives Mater organizer Shaun King.
Organizing through our music scene, none the less, still offers a great opportunity to fund raise for all the groups in need during the winter and beyond. It sends a message of love and unity on the ground level, a message at the opposite of the corruption and greed taking place in this country. One I think is absolutely an imperative for us to take part in.
The line up was organized for expressing solidarity and support with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and the water protectors risking their well-being in Cannon Ball, ND, giving a platform to indigenous artists and allies. All proceeds from the benefit went directly to Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council, a collaborative effort of volunteer medics, physicians, and other healers available to the water protectors in the face of police brutality.
Energy Transfer Partners and their Dakota Access Pipeline project endanger indigenous land, lives, and the Missouri River — a water source for millions of Americans. DAPL has used mace, attack dogs, rubber bullets, and now water cannons against peaceful and unarmed protestors. This is not just an indigenous issue, it’s a human issue, and while they have halted construction, Energy Transfer Partners have stated that they will continue to work on the pipeline in spite of the federal governement’s order that they stop. Water protectors are not leaving camp and still need our help.