This week marks the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving. It has roots in sharing food and gratitude with family and loved ones; but, in many ways has become merely another opportunity to consume. We eat too much turkey. We drink too much beer.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a big party night for many where binging on alcohol begins since everyone knows there is a four day weekend ahead during which to recover. Los Angeles offers a wide array of events including Club Rhonda’s Rhondavous party featuring Seth Troxler or an event put on by the infamous Do Not Sit on the Furniture based out of Miami. However, one particular event stands apart. Unlike other events which offer a good time, The Space in Between has curated a night of music to benefit the peaceful protestors in Standing Rock, North Dakota as they protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The Space in Between is a series of parties created by two local LA DJ’s Shawni and Patricio. Patricio is the man behind the Favela bar concept, the house music bar and immersive environment at Lightning in a Bottle. The parties are meant to showcase local DJs in an intimate environment. One must be a member to access the location of the event and this creates a unique community dedicated to deep sounds and deep change. On this, their third event, the two decided they wanted to do something to give back. It will feature the founders Patricio and Shawni as well as SABO, another local LA name.
So Why Standing Rock?
“I think that there are so many injustices happening in the world every day and I feel powerless many times as of how to help. I buy mainly used clothes, I recycle, I teach yoga in a Juvenile Hall, I buy mainly organic, I try to be as conscious as I can about what I consume and which companies I support with my money and so on… But as I said before, I feel like it isn’t enough and there’s so much to stand up for to protect what’s right against big corporations.
What’s happening in Standing Rock is one case of abuse towards our natural resources. I am proud of the Sioux tribes in North Dakota for putting their foot down to protect their land and water from the big oil companies. I have many friends over there right now supporting as well and the least we can do is gather some people here in the city to support with money, warm clothes and items and food, winter is coming and it’ll be rough over there.
We all must protect our water, the people must wake up against all atrocities that happen every day in the name of money. “ – Shawni
The United States is currently in a very strange position. Our President elect Donald Trump has no interest in protecting sacred land or promoting true environmental change. In fact, he does not even believe climate change is actually happening. Now, it appears the US may pull out of the critically important Paris Agreement in which many countries have pledged to lower greenhouse gasses emitted by these large corporations and move towards more sustainable energy practices. This is no longer just an issue for the Native American’s who deserve control of what happens on their sacred lands, or just the US citizens who deserve clean water: rather, it is about the global crisis of climate change. Whether you are in Amsterdam, Spain, California, New York, London, India, Chile, as a member of our community you can give back. Wherever you are get involved, donate, raise awareness. This community is standing up to the corporations who put monetary gain above the well being of our planet. Success for the Sioux people will do more than just protect sacred land: it will set a precedent that seeks to end consumerist tendencies and promote a more reciprocal approach to the way we exist on our planet. See the link to the Oceti Sakowin Camp, there they list needed items and you can also make monetary donations. It is time to move past our addiction to oil and fossil fuels and invest in sustainable energy. Together we can spread this message far and wide. I for one am grateful that there are people standing strong in Standing Rock.
“Looking at the situation in North Dakota and seeing the importance of protecting the rights of our Sioux brothers and sisters we decided to make this particular event a fundraiser to fight this cause, to help as best as we know how, bringing people together through music.” – Patricio
I will do all I can do give back. I will be dancing alongside Patricio and Shawni Wednesday night in hopes that through the music we can find connection and use that connection to promote true change in our world.
Photo Credit: Alyssa Schukar for the New York Times