Recently, the news has been consumed with stories of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests which have been taking place approximately 40 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota. Protesters have been voicing their objection to construction of the last part of the Dakota Access pipeline, which they say threatens the Standing Rock Sioux’s water supply and their sacred sites. Recently, on December 4, the protesters scored an unexpected victory when the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would deny the developer of the pipeline a permit to cross the Missouri river. Thousands of protesters cheered and chanted to cries of Mni Wiconi, or water is life.
The major subplot in this story has been the treatment of protesters and recently New Jersey musician John Hathaway took to the studio with his band to record a track entitled “151.” The song is about what was happening at Standing Rock during these protests. John shared with us his impetus to write the song:
“My eyes were opened through social media. I could not believe what I was seeing. Is this really America in 2016? When I saw the video with Floris Whitebull I immediately knew I had to do more than just casually observe. So I wrote “151.” The song is written from her [Floris Whitebull’s] perspective. In fact, I wrote the song and immediately asked my band to come and join me to record it in the studio and we did that. The band got the urgency of the situation and I think we got the job done in terms of getting the message out there. Now, we want help keeping the message going and despite recent events, we need to keep this message alive because I am not sure that this atrocity won’t happen again and if “151” will help prevent that, then I made a difference. That’s all I want.”
Please check out the video for “151” below:
Great work John.