“This is NOT ok with me…,” Young tweeted Friday evening.
Two of Young’s songs — Rockin’ in the Free World and Like a Hurricane — were played at the event before Trump’s arrival at the event in South Dakota.
The land around Mount Rushmore is considered sacred by the Lakota Sioux people, who lived in the area before gold was located.
On Friday, more than 100 protesters, many Indigenous, lined the road leading to Mount Rushmore holding signs and playing Lakota music in 35C-degree heat. Some held their fists in the air as cars loaded with event attendees passed by. Others held signs that read “Protect SoDak’s First People,” “You Are On Stolen Land” and “Dismantle White Supremacy.”
The protesters barricaded the road with vans, prompting police and National Guard soldiers to move in. A standoff ensued, with police using pepper spray on several protesters but taking no further action for several hours.
In a second tweet on Friday, Young said he stands in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux, and reiterated that he was “NOT ok” with Trump’s use of his music.
I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux & this is NOT ok with me https://t.co/iPVcFplOHa
— Neil Young Archives (@NeilYoungNYA) July 4, 2020
This is not the first time the folk-rock legend has criticized the president.
In February, Young penned an open letter to Trump, calling him a “disgrace to my country.”
“Your mindless destruction of our shared natural resources, our environment, and our relationships with friends around the world is unforgivable,” he wrote.
Young continued, saying Rockin’ in the Free World is not a song Trump can “trot out at one of your rallies.”
He said he hopes when any of his other songs are played at a Trump event, the president is haunted by his voice.
“Remember it is the voice of a tax-paying U.S. citizen who does not support you,” the musician wrote. “Me.”
A month later, Young endorsed Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, saying “every point he makes is what I believe in.”
A number of other musicians have complained about the use of their songs at Trump rallies and campaign events, including The Rolling Stones and Pharrell Williams.
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