Joshua Vana Sings “To the River” at Yellow Finch Blockade

Message from Joshua Vana:

Y’all, there’s this thing I do sometimes where I go sing and play to folks who are living in trees and meanwhile directly preventing the advance of billion dollar corporations plundering Appalachia.

Yesterday I was at the Yellow Finch Blockade on day 331 of uninterrupted tree sits, saying ‘thank you’ and enjoying the company of the good folks there. I found some time in between the roar of backhoes, all perfectly perched to flip over at any moment on the side of the ridge directly across the road, to play this song I wrote this past spring called “To The River”.

It’s difficult for me to explain witnessing the song play out in real life as it’s sung – but I can say that I rarely feel more grounded and alive than when I’m with so many others who are risking something – anything – time, energy, money, safety, hope, to maintain a future we can thrive in (or simply survive in).

One of the things I can offer to the world, to a decent society, in times of struggle (though there seem to be quite a few these days, and multiplying) is music. It’s important for communities to tell their own story of resistance and I think this tune is in that greater songbook somewhere.

There are some fires burning in Appalachia that we’d like to keep lit. Some of ’em are being cared for by Appalachians Against Pipelines. I’d like to encourage you to look into this little corner of a greater movement for water protection and community defense and maybe consider supporting them at bit.ly/supportmvpresistance. They’d appreciate any help you might be able to offer, and so would the folks who’ve been fighting the Mountain Valley Pipeline for five long years.

Thanks for reading, listening – and for those ‘in between’, you know who you are.