WASHINGTON: Rocker Dave Matthews on Tuesday announced a concert to support Native Americans opposed to an oil pipeline after police forcibly dispersed protesters.
The Standing Rock Sioux have led efforts to block construction of the pipeline that would start in North Dakota, saying it would endanger the tribe’s water supply and destroy its sacred sites.
Matthews said he would lead a concert on November 27 in Washington to raise money for supplies and legal assistance for the protesters.
The rocker said that more acts would be announced for the show at the historic DAR Constitution Hall, to be followed a day later by anti-pipeline activism around the US capital.
“How can we continue to allow oil money to dictate our environmental and social policies? The people of Standing Rock, and those who are supporting them, are standing up for their children and all of our children,” Matthews said in a statement.
“We are letting the Dakota pipeline silence their voices. Not only are they desecrating sacred lands, but they also threaten to poison the Missouri River.”
The South African-born, US-raised singer and guitarist has enjoyed a wide following since the 1990s with his Dave Matthews Band’s style of bluesy soft rock.
While the group’s fan base was once synonymous with mainstream taste, Matthews has been increasingly outspoken about his left-leaning politics.
Police last week arrested protesters en masse, outraging environmentalists and Native American activists who called the tactics heavy-handed.
The builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline insist that the project complies with the law, and authorities say protesters do not have the right to block highways or private property.