Bigger Than Law

Sharing this from bit from Patagonia because they lay it out way better than I ever could, and I’m with them 100%:

Today, President Donald Trump took executive action to reverse decisions that halted Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. Trump’s order invites TransCanada Corp. to resubmit an application for its Keystone XL project and has directed federal agencies to expedite the approval of the Dakota Access pipeline.

We firmly stand behind the belief that the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the country’s interest, and the Dakota Access Pipeline poses significant threats to the Standing Rock Sioux. We are asking you to join us in asking the President to not put Big Oil first and prioritize the well-being of our people and planet.

The following is a link to an online petition from the Sierra Club. I’m not sure to what degree online activism helps or not, but these days I suppose it can’t hurt.

PLEASE CONSIDER ADDING YOUR VOICE

 

The best article about Standing Rock is in the current issue of Montana Quarterly, my favorite regional magazine. The lead feature is written by my good friend Sterling. The entire piece is available online. I urge you to read it HERE. An excerpt:

On the afternoon of September 9, 2016, an injunction sought by the Standing Rock Tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline was denied by Federal District Judge James Boasberg. Within a few hours the Obama administration, the Department of Justice, and the Army had issued a joint statement requesting that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Reservation be halted until further assessment could take place. I was at a rally in Bismarck with hundreds of others when the government’s request went public, standing in the rain on the long, manicured lawn leading up to the North Dakota capitol building, listening to several Lakota girls give speeches on a bullhorn. I had never heard young people speak so eloquently and passionately, and as I listened I began to feel something beautiful and dangerous to the idea of America was happening. Their words were so powerful, in fact, I nearly cried. Luckily for me I’m an Indian man, and we only cry in ceremony.

I feel honored to know Sterling after having read that piece. He’s a good man. And he bought me breakfast when this photo was taken (or maybe I bought him breakfast — that seems far, FAR more likely) back in April at Paul’s Pancake House in Missoula. We all know how big of a deal breakfast is.

I’m also pleased to have a story (and the photographs that accompany it) in the same issue of Montana Quarterly. Mine is about the Dixon Bar. It was a fun piece to write, and I was/am thrilled because MQ was one of the publications I set high importance on placing some work in, because they are the best around here. Now, considering the current cultural climate in this country, it seems a little superfluous to me. But it’s a start. I have another piece with photos coming out in the next issue. I’m excited about that. It’s fun.

And now my final point. I’ve never been one to shy away from my political leanings, though I don’t talk much about politics in these parts. That is going to change. The stakes are too high. Donald Trump is a loathsome human being with zero redeeming qualities. I’ve felt this way long before he bought his way into politics. He represents everything I despise about our culture. Crass, arrogant, and willfully ignorant. A liar. A gigantic con man. It’s one thing in a reality television host. It’s something else in someone who is in position to shit all over everything I hold precious and seems likely to do so. I’m going to do whatever I can to oppose him.

This following image is a little meme someone put together featuring the words of Charles Bowden, a writer from the Southwest I much admired. His words have resonated with me for years; more now since about November 8th. It’s going on the bulletin board by my desk, lest I forget the importance of every moment left to me.

 

Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He lives and travels from Missoula, MT.

5 thoughts on “Bigger Than Law”

  1. Well said, Chris. HolyWhiteMountain’s piece is important; I wish more people would read it. And what a treat to hold MQ in my hands while reading it and your Dixon Bar piece, which was thoroughly entertaining—as was the Bass piece, especially for the bird dog and her guy who mourn that last day as well. Thank you!

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