“Vic Mensa Stands In Solidarity With NoDAPL Activists

It was Thanksgiving weekend recently in the United States and really, what better time than to join the fight against the potentially environmentally destructive and culturally catastrophic Dakota Access Pipeline? That was exactly how Chicago’s Vic Mensa spent his weekend when he joined the growing number of activists opposing the planned construction at the Standing Rock Native American reservation, this past Sunday afternoon and took to Facebook to help spread further awareness and hopefully ignite action.

On his Facebook Live stream, the rapper spoke about the need for unity against the proposed pipeline, which will undoubtedly result in the contamination of the Missouri River— the only source of water for the Standing Rock Reservation—as well as uproot sacred land and tribal burial grounds. Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline began earlier this year and have drawn people from all throughout North America, creating the biggest gathering of Native Tribes recorded in the past 100 years. Joining the protests on Sunday afternoon, Mensa declared, “this needs to be a time of healing.” He made a call to arms, stating that at times like these, there needs to be solidarity.

He went on to tweet afterwards:

This is not the first time the rapper has used his platform to speak about and get involved with issues of social, cultural and racial injustices. He has long been vocal about the Flint Water Crisis while this time last year he joined the Black Live Matter protests in Chicago. Just a few weeks ago, he dropped the video for his confronting track 16 Shots, which directly recounts the police killing of Laquan McDonald. Speaking about the song and the video (which he shared for the first time at a Justice For Flint benefit) in an interview with Complex, he said that “to me, Laquan McDonald represents Emmet Till, which represents every name down the line and since then a lot of things have changed, but one main thing [that] hasn’t changed is that our lives are not respected.”

Following the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida, Mensa recruited Halsey, Lil B and Le1f to produce Free Love. The nearly 6-minute track calls out the struggles of the LGBTQ community, making him one of a very few members of the hip-hop community to speak out following the shooting.

Protesters have been told that due to “safety concerns” federal officials plan to close the Standing Rock campsite on December 5th. Mensa plans to return to Standing Rock on December 4th and has urged fans and peers to do the same in a number of Instagram posts, saying that: “When one of our freedom is on the line all of our freedom is on the line. Fight for freedom.”



Image: Variance Magazine

Gifs: The Movement