UPDATE (7/7): Neil has now penned an open letter to Trump.
As you may have heard, Trump held a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore last night (7/3) and over the PA he played Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World," a song that does not mean what Trump thinks it means and a song that Neil has already insisted Trump not use at events. Trump played "Like A Hurricane" too.
Like last time, Neil has responded:
Meanwhile, over 15 protesters were arrested after blocking the highway leading to Mount Rushmore, arguing that Mount Rushmore is a symbol of oppression and that the Black Hills mountain rage where Rushmore is located is sacred to the Lakota people. Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports:
Protesters demonstrating against President Donald Trump's arrival in the Black Hills for the Mount Rushmore fireworks display were met with resistance from law enforcement, pepper sprayed and arrested after they blocked a highway to the monument with vans for nearly three hours Friday.
Over a dozen protesters were arrested after blocking Highway 16A, or Iron Mountain Road, before President Trump was set to make his way from Rapid City to Keystone and then on the highway to Mount Rushmore. Several of those arrested prayed before being detained by law enforcement.
Protesters cited that the Black Hills are sacred to Native Americans and that Trump's administration opposes interests of Native Americans and other minority groups.
Read more here.
Donations to the Black Hills Bail and Legal Defense Fund will help protesters who were arrested on Friday. The fund's description reads, "On July 3rd, 2020 Indigenous People and our allies were arrested in the process of defending our sacred lands in the Black Hills. Acts of courage and civil disobedience resulted in arrests and criminal charges. We were protesting the desecration of sacred lands that were stolen from our people."
The fund is fiscally sponsored by the NDN Collective, "an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms." They write:
Friday’s acts of courage and civil disobedience by Indigenous people and our allies defending sacred lands in the Black Hills resulted in arrests and we imagine eventual criminal charges for these brave Defenders. These men and women were standing against the continued desecration of sacred lands that were stolen by the United States federal government from the Lakota Oyate to satisfy the greed of capitalism in this country. We are calling on friends and allies to donate to the Black Hills Bail and Legal Defense Fund to support these Land and Treaty Defenders.
As it stands today, Mount Rushmore is a national symbol of white supremacy, active erasure of Indigenous people in our homelands, and the continued exploitation of BIPOC bodies for the American dream. The federal government stole Paha Sapa (the Black HIlls) and allowed a member of the klu kluxx klan, Gutzon Borglum, to vandalize a holy mountain in with the faces of colonizers in memory of European encroachment, broken treaties, human rights violations, and acts of genocide against Indigenous and BIPOC people throughout Turtle Island.
Before being led off in handcuffs, Nick Tilsen, President and CEO of The NDN Collective said, “Our people have fought for this land and we will continue to. This won’t be the last. Our goal isn’t just to resist, but to radically imagine a better future.”
Mount Rushmore is an active symbol of white supremacy and systematic racism. In comradery with our allies and standing as Indigenous people, we made a stand against Donald Trump, the President of the United States, who entered Oceti Sakowin Territory without the free prior and informed consent of the Tribal Nations in this region.
Learn more here.