15 Greatest Protest Songs Of The 21st Century

5. Raye Zaragoza - "In The River"

Key Lyrics: "In the river is our sisters and our brothers // We’re camping out for each other // We’re stronger when we band together // And we’re standing up for the water // Don’t poison the future away"

One of the most affecting protests songs of the century so far didn't come from a rock and roll icon or a hip-hop rabble-rouser, it came from a young activist standing on the front lines of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

After listening to the stories from the citizens of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, who feared the installation of a massive oil pipeline would threaten their water supply and destroy sacred burial grounds, singer-songwriter Raye Zaragoza immersed herself in the protests, braving sub-zero temperatures alongside fellow activists.

Her experiences spawned this alternately hopeful and haunting acoustic melody, which begs listeners to examine their conscience and stand opposed to the pipeline.

Although police shut down the protests at Standing Rock, NoDAPL demonstrations still continue in various sites around the United States, and Zaragoza's anthem features prominently in those protests.

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Jacob is a part-time contributor for WhatCulture, specializing in music, movies, and really, really dumb humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JakeTrowbridge.