Bloomington locals performed a homage to Standing Rock protesters in defense of clean water and the opposition of the North Dakota Pipeline on Monday night.
Regulars of the Bishop and fans of the performers gathered in a small concert area as Travis Puntarelli and UpFolk played folk and blues tunes. The performance was a benefit concert, as all proceeds from the ticket sales went directly to the protesters. Attendees were also given the opportunity to donate additional funds.
“Music goes to the heart and to the soul as well as to the mind,” Puntarelli said. “Music moves us emotionally and not just mentally. It can touch us and we can pass different information than we can via text or talking.”
Native American citizens especially oppose the North Dakota pipeline because its construction would run through religious ground and could have lasting effects on drinking water. Environmental activists also argue that the pipeline could contribute to climate change.
“It represents the future of what we want to do with this country,” Puntarelli’s bandmate Mark Haggerty said. “We don’t want the corporations putting pipelines under our major rivers.”
The donations will be given to protesters who have shared their intentions to continue their efforts throughout the winter. Some of the proceeds will be used to provide blankets and suitable shelter for the protesters, according to the Bishop’s website.
Haggerty said Puntarelli’s music and lyrics will cut to the heart of the meaning behind events in Standing Rock as well as speak to the political situation.
“He’s writing songs about how to live and how to interpret these events and how to interpret the world,” Haggerty said. “That’s the reason I would be playing with Travis. I wouldn’t really want to play with anybody else.”
Puntarelli said he aims to encourage an inclusive show for his audience and support discussion regarding the Standing Rock protests among those who attended.
“I hope we have no audience, and it’s just folks who show up,” Puntarelli said. “I hope that there’s some feelings of unification.”
He said the event referenced nature of the protests taking place in North Dakota and encouraged a positive environment.
“In Standing Rock, they’re praying,” Puntarelli said. “They’re singing songs, so we’ll sing songs here just to be in solidarity. They sing and hopefully everyone gets what they want.”
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