In case you’ve been completely oblivious to the news over the past seven months, there is a huge conflict going on in North Dakota. Tribes have gathered at Standing Rock to stop a natural gas pipeline operator from bulldozing sacred sites to construct an 1,172-mile oil pipeline. The tribes also want to protect the Missouri River, which is the primary water source for the Standing Rock Reservation. Their protests have been peaceful, but they’ve been met with tear gas, water cannons, handcuffs and other brutality by law enforcement. It’s a conflict that has gained attention and support from many people throughout the world, including Lamb Of God‘s front man.
Here’s what Randy Blythe said on his Instagram account: “I am a surfer, and a true son of the South Eastern Coast of the United States. This means I spend a lot of time in the relatively warm waters of Virginia & North Carolina; in fact I spend as much time in those waters as possible given my job as a touring musician- whenever I can I ride waves, I fish, & I swim in the ocean. I have not been able to surf for a few months now because of touring with 2 different bands, & I am dying to go catch a wave. So now when I am finally off tour, why am I going far inland to freezing North Dakota (of all places), where people are getting tear gassed & arrested, instead of to the much warmer beach to chill? I am going because as a surfer, I know that all of our planet’s water is connected, and that you cannot poison a river without it eventually leading to the sea. I am going because there are people trying to stop a river from being poisoned, & they need firewood, coffee, wool blankets, winter sleeping bags, & strong hands that know how to swing an ax- I have those things, so I am driving them there. I am going & bringing my Ojibwe bro David so that he can hoist his tribal flag & represent his people, & I can represent the South Eastern punk rock wave riders. I am going because I have been planning this for weeks, my heart tells me it is the right thing to do, & my spirit is restless & will not sit still inside of me until I do something besides talk about how horrible it is we are destroying our planet. So people of Standing Rock, @rollingcloud1 & I are on our way from Minnesota- we come in peace, but make no mistake- we are coming in full effect, & we are coming to stand with you. #nodapl #waterislife #hokahey”