vic mensa joins the #nodapl protests at standing rock

'Standing Rock is the most important struggle to support right now,' the rap prodigy and political activist wrote on Twitter.

by i-D Staff and Hannah Ongley
01 December 2016, 6:37pm

It difficult to think of a social cause that Vic Mensa hasn't wholeheartedly thrown himself into. The tireless Chi-Town talent has dedicated his whole career to amplifying the voices of people who don't have multiple Kanye West collaborations and 300k Twitter followers — whether it's by celebrating LGBT rights in a post-Orlando anthem, tackling the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Laquan McDonald, bringing attention to the Flint water crisis, or eloquently unpacking the racial motivations of rural Donald Trump supporters in a powerful post-election essay. Now Vic is out on the frontlines of the Dakota Access pipeline protests in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. 

"I've been at #StandingRock for the last 3 days, and the experience has been amazing," he wrote on Instagram. "If you're not in tune with what's going on here, Standing Rock is an Indian reservation where a major oil company is trying to drill a pipeline underneath the river that supplies drinking water for millions of people on and off of the reservation. Drilling that oil pipeline could contaminate the livelihood of so many people, primarily indigenous people of this land that have been systematically destroyed since Europeans arrived in America. Thousands of people have come from all over the world to Standing Rock to stop that pipeline from being drilled and protect the water."

In further posts on Instagram and Twitter, Vic emphasizes the crucial importance of fighting for all marginalized groups. "Standing Rock is BLM. Standing Rock is LGBTQ rights. Standing Rock is the Latino struggle. All this shit is one," he tweeted before captioning a photo of #NODAPL protesters bundled up in the blistering cold: "When one of our freedom is on the line all of our freedom is on the line." Vic notes, the Army Corps have threatened to forcibly remove Standing Rock protesters. If you can't show your support IRL, consider making a donation to those doing so at


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram

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