You’ve gotta hand it to Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe. Since his arrest and acquittal several years ago in Prague on manslaughter charges, he seems to have become a more enlightened person. He’s written a book, had a photography exhibit, and launched a lifestyle magazine, all while remaining frontman of Lamb of God. It turns out that he’s got an activism streak in him as well, as he’s currently on a road trip to North Dakota to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline.
You may have heard of the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline, a proposed oil pipeline that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been protesting, perhaps by your friends checking into Standing Falls on Facebook. The pipeline would run very close to their property, potentially contaminating their water supply and endangering wildlife. This past weekend, as protests continued, law enforcement used water cannons on protesters in freezing weather, injuring over 25 people. You can read a pretty thorough explanation of what’s gone on so far here. Here, Blythe explains what he’s doing and why.
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
That’s pretty noble and also pretty punk rock of Blythe to do. As far as we know, there aren’t any other celebrity protesters there, and he’ll be able to use his influence to educate others about this. Hell, we’re writing about it, and this is the first time we’ve mentioned the Pipeline protests, and we’d imagine we’re not the only metal website that hasn’t written about it before today, either.