. . .

Quick story from last night. I had just gotten back to the front lines after the medics treated me for getting tear gassed…the first time. As I’m framing up a shot of the riot police lineup through my viewfinder, I hear a loud pop in the distance. The woman standing beside me, probably half my size, goes down hard. I thought she slipped on the ice (the pavement had frozen by that point due to hours of being sprayed by law enforcement’s water cannon in 20 degree weather). She wasn’t responding. It wasn’t until I found this next to her body that I knew she didn’t slip – she was shot. Moments later, she woke and became hysterical – rightfully so. Turns out, the 40mm sponge round got her right in the head. THE HEAD. As the volunteer medics pulled her away through the chaos, I looked in the direction where the shot came from. There I saw him, a cop with full face head gear, holding the riot gun that took the woman out. I couldn’t see his eyes, but I know he saw mine. He raised his hand, and started shaking his finger at me. It was in that moment that I realized he actually missed his shot, because that round was meant for me. Another photographer asked if I was alright. I told him what happened, and he wasn’t surprised. He revealed that press working alongside the ‘Water Protectors’ have been targeted by law enforcement since day one of the movement. They’ll arrest you, “lose your memory card” in jail processing, and your story’s gone. Or the quick version, try taking me out with a 40mm sponge round from a riot gun. A cop who’d rather see me be knocked unconscious than to publish a story – I’ll be honest, it shook me to my core. The only problem for him, it just validated how important this story really is. And because of that, I’ll continue telling it to the best of my ability. A word of advice to the next guy who tries to take my ass out. Save your ammo, because my shot will always be more powerful than yours.

A photo posted by Kit Karzen (@kitkarzen) on

The positive take-away from last nights horrific violence was that the media finally seems to be taking the issue seriously. The police chief told a story of activists “rioting” when in fact it was the police that moved in and attacked non-violent people. He also told media outlets that activists had lit fires that they had to put out with water cannons. In truth, activists did light two fires to stay warm in sub freezing weather but it was the concussion grenades that police threw at activists that started multiple, uncontained fires. In 25 degree weather, water cannons were turned on activists, provoking mass hypothermia. Rubber bullets were fired at people’s faces and hands. The lies are hollow and easily dispelled by multiple sources of video footage. This photo shows the string of flood lights that runs along the pipeline. The lights point at the camps where approximately 7-8,000 water protectors sleep. It never gets truly dark and this light pollution is compounded by the constant buzz of a plane that flies for most of the night. During the day it is replaced by a helicopter. All of these things truly make this beautiful country feel like a war zone. @natgeocreative @iiyc_nodapl @rezpectourwater @sacredstonecamp @ocetisakowincamp @honortheearth @aureta @indigenousrising @uptouscaravan @earthguardians @waterkeeperalliance #nodapl #standingrock #dapl #dakotapipeline #waterislife #water #rights #solidarity #oil #corporategreed #mniwiconi #sioux #lakota #dakota #sioux #standwithstandingrock #ocetisakowin #ocetisakowincamp #sacredstone #sacredstonecamp #AHO #waterprotectors #waterrights #activism #resist #military #humanrightsabuse

A photo posted by Josh Humbert (@joshhumbert) on

Thoughts this morning as I look over this incredible nation at Standing Rock: I believe this MOVEMENT needs to be so big and public opinion needs to be so vocally against what is happening here that it can not continue. That is what is going to stop this. But mainstream media will not cover this resistance, that’s become clear. So I’ve been thinking, what are all the angles of what is happening here and how can we move as many people into action? The environmentalists care, the indigenous rights people care, what about people who don’t fall into those realms? One of the very alarming realities I’m seeing first hand here is the militarization of local state police. In this situation, civilians are gathering, unarmed and peaceful, but yes standing in opposition to what the state is allowing to happen. America was founded by people who were standing up to circumstances they felt were oppressive and wrong. We have the constitutional right to peacefully assemble and disagree with actions being taken. We are seeing that right being exercised here, and we are seeing very disturbing violent and heavily armed actions being used by state funded police against these unarmed civilians. They are doing almost anything to try and quiet the resistance. Recently the Bundy militia exercised their right to oppose the actions of the government. They were heavily armed and it was very televised. My point here is if you are an American, what we are seeing here at the resistance at Standing Rock should be VERY alarming. The normalization of the militarization of our state funded police and the way in which they are freely using lethal weapons against unarmed civilians who are peacefully assembling is very scary for EVERY American. Even if you don’t think the issues being opposed here matter in your life, one day there may come a time when you need to stand up to our government to protect your family and community and you do not want to stand face to face with these police with these weapons. They are in theory civil servants, but today they are standing with corporate interests, not for civilian safety. 📷 @idahoney

A photo posted by Cate Havstad (@havstadhatco) on

A video posted by Awake The Tribe (@awakethetribe) on

This morning the Standing Rock Sioux woke to find their ancestral burial ground surrounded by razor wire and their boats smashed.

A photo posted by Wayne Belger (@boyofblue) on

I sat next to this river for a good 30 minutes taking in everything that was going on around me. On top of the hill in the background sat the local authorities watching the peaceful people below. In the distance you could hear the tribal drums and singing of the proud people of this land; the woman on the left in this picture was dancing along. When the music stopped she broke down and began to cry. I sat silently and listened to her cries and pleas with her creator. She was saying to the other woman, “They’ve taken everything from us…and now they want to take this”. • What resonated with me the most though was when she very quietly under her sobbing said, “I’m so tired of the suffering”. Hearing her say that brought me to tears and I got up from the side of that river and slowly walked back to camp with a heavy heart. • As a veteran and once proud American, I’ve never been more ashamed of being from this country. What’s happening in North Dakota is down right criminal — no other way of putting it. #nodapl #istandwithstandingrock #mniwiconi #waterislife

A photo posted by Jake Faivre (@thewanderingfarmer) on

On Tuesday evening peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock experienced, what I believe to be, deep human rights violations. Concussion grenades, mace, water cannons, rubber bullets and tea gas injured elders, women, men and children. I cannot be on the front lines, but I can still be linked in action and prayer. And so can you. I’ve taken just half an hour out of my day the past two days to make phone calls to express my heartfelt care and concern. I’m a bit of a phone-shy person, so making calls like this can feel intimidating to me (maybe you too?), but I promise once you get over that first initial call it feels so very empowering and good. Here’s an example of what I say, “ Hello, my name is Asia Suler (if calling a representative I mention where I’m calling and that I’m a constituent). And I’m calling to express my deep concern over, what I perceive to be, the human rights violations happening at Standing Rock. I am shocked by the way in which these peaceful protestors have been treated and I’m calling to ask that (representative, senator, or simply “you”) look into ending the militarized actions that are happening.” If I’m calling a Police station or armed forced number I like to also mention that I believe deeply in sacred ethics of the police to “protect people” in our country and ask that such force be used to truly protect all of life, and not just the interest of a vested corporation. Here are the number’s I’ve been calling… Senator John Hoeven // 701-250-4618 + 202-224-2551 Senator Heidi Heitkamp // 701-258-4648 +202-224-2043 Rep. Kevin Cramer // 701-224-0355 + 202-225-2611 Morton County Sheriff’s Department // (701) 328-8118 + (701) 667-3330 North Dakota National Guard// (701) 333-2000 Department of Justice // (202) 514 – 2000 And know that your direct donations, your willingness to divest from the big banks that are funding this, and your PRAYERS are turning, turning, turning the tide. If you feel moved by this, let something inside of you move into alignment with what is being healed. Your motion is part of the wave that will change everything #nodapl #waterislife #mniwiconi

A photo posted by Asia Suler (@onewillow_apothecaries) on

November 16, via WSJ, Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren stated, ‘ “I really wish for the Standing Rock Sioux that they had engaged in discussions way before they did.” “We could have changed the route,” Mr. Warren added. “It could have been done, but it’s too late.” ’

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has released the audio recording from their council meeting with DAPL and the ND Public Service Commission on Sept. 30, 2014. If you don’t want to listen to the whole meeting, start at 55:00.

Direct links if the embeds above don’t work for you: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Edited to add ~ I do not understand the “there are two sides to the story” argument. What’s happening at Standing Rock is really no different from a corporation, backed by the US military, going to Mexico and saying, “we want the Yucatan peninsula, so we’re taking it.” And then expecting/demanding that Mexico say, “OK, Uncle Sam, whatever you want.” The land occupied by Oceti Sakowin camp and the land occupied by DAPL/militia is all sovereign treaty land. It is theirs, it is sovereign land, and our government has no claim to it. Treaty doesn’t mean, “you can have this till we want it.” It means “THIS IS YOURS FOREVER.”

Stand With Standing Rock: An Action Plan

{My mother forwarded me an “Action Plan” for Trump’s impending presidency. The following is my response. Please share.}

Much of what you fear under a Trump presidency is happening RIGHT NOW under President Obama against the indigenous people of Standing Rock.

1) State-sanctioned racism. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) was originally routed through Bismark, ND. The [white] people of Bismark said “no way, it’s too great a threat to our water supply.” So Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the company behind the DAPL, with the power of our government behind them, rerouted the pipeline through Sioux treaty land. Here is a map.

2) State-sanctioned violence against citizens. Attacks against the unarmed protectors at Standing Rock include the use of pepper spray (photo), concussion grenades, batons (video), LRADs, attack dogs, tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, and more. Also:
Women arrested for rioting (ie, walking in prayer) have been kept in dog kennels.
People have been held for 80+ days on trespassing/misdemeanor charges.
People have been shot in the head and back by rubber bullets at close range.
This woman may have her arm amputated after being struck with a concussion grenade (edit as per press release).
Another woman had her shoulder dislocated while she was being handcuffed.
Another woman was shot in the eye by LE and is now blind in that eye, likely permanently.
A man was hit with a club in the throat by law enforcement and sustained permanent damage to his larynx, can now barely talk.
((There are many more such incidents))
Stingrays and scramblers are monitoring and interfering with communication to and from camp.
Planes, helicopters, and drones buzz the camps (on private land) 24 hours/day despite private airspace laws.

Burial grounds on treaty land have been bulldozed and dug up for the DAPL. The Natives were kept away from this land by force – mace, mass arrests, beatings. Imagine a corporation bulldozing your sacred spaces, your grandparents graves, your memorials.

Last night, protectors tried to remove a blockade from Hwy 1806. In October, ETP and law enforcement erected this barricade by bringing in a pile of old vehicles setting them on fire. ON A PUBLIC HIGHWAY. This barricade of charred vehicles and razor wire means it takes twice as long for emergency services to reach Standing Rock via alternate routes, since Highway 1806 is still blocked. When the unarmed protectors approached the barricade last night, they were attacked with tear gas, rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and sprayed continuously with a pressurized water cannon (think fire hose on steroids). The temperature was below freezing, mid to low 20s (ºF). According to reports on scene, law enforcement pivoted to tear gas the medics who were treating protectors for hypothermia and rubber bullet wounds.

This is our government right now. This is Obama’s America.

** The ACLU has been to Standing Rock; here is their report and their letter to the DOJ. Amnesty International has also visited Standing Rock, has condemned the excessive military violence and called on Obama to halt construction. Obama’s Attorney General has done nothing.

3) Mainstream media blackout and information manipulation. The big media outlets are not talking about Standing Rock. They are not showing images and video from Standing Rock. They share more details about Ivanka’s jewelry than about Standing Rock. Oh! And a journalist filming at Standing Rock faces 45 years in prison.

** The peaceful protests and non-violent work of the water protectors – and the attacks upon them by militarized police – have been going on since summer.

4) The US government using militarized force to defend corporate interests. This is the long and short of it. It’s not about where you stand on fossil fuels. It’s about the government taking Native land BY FORCE… AGAIN. It’s about militarized police using violence to defend corporate interests as they steal and desecrate the sacred land of the most marginalized group in the country. These people need your help and action NOW.

** It has been described as “a war zone” by US military veterans who have traveled to join the protectors.

Earlier this month, ETP was told to halt construction pending review of an easement by the Army Corp of Engineers. They have not stopped. They have built a giant wall around their work and are continuing to work 24 hours/day. And they have law enforcement protecting them.

Obama has done nothing to stop the theft of tribal land nor the militarized police violence against the indigenous people of Standing Rock. Hold Obama accountable.


1) Share this info. Talk about this. With everyone. “Thanksgiving” is a natural opening to discuss the abuse of indigenous people by the government.

2) Call your government. Here are tips for calling if you have social anxiety.
White House: 202-456-1111 & 202-456-1414
US Dept of Justice: 202-353-1555
Governor of North Dakota: 701-328-2200
North Dakota legislators: 1-888-635-3447 & 701-328-3373
Morton County Sherrif: 701-667-3330 & 701-328-8118
Army Corps of Engineers: 202-761-8700
Your Congresspeople: use the menu midway down on this page to find the names and phone numbers of senators and reps from your state (thanks to mlaiuppa in the comments for this addition)

3) Call your banks.
Many banks have invested in the DAPL: Wells Fargo, Citibank, Sun Trust, ING…. here is the full list, with phone numbers. MOVE YOUR ACCOUNTS. DIVEST. MOVE YOUR MORTGAGES. Inconvenient? Yeah, it is. Being an ally is inconvenient. They are banking (har har) on you not making the effort. Here is a handy, eloquent template.

4) Boycott.
Conoco, Sunoco, and Phillips 66 are behind the DAPL. Fill your car elsewhere.

5) Donate.
Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund. Oceti Sakowin Supply List. Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Or you can send money with people going to Standing Rock who you know will use the money for supply runs as dictated by the Natives. This is actually a very efficient way to contribute.

6) Travel to Standing Rock / Help an indigenous person travel to Standing Rock.
**Please see Caitlin’s message in the comment section (#13) regarding helping an indigenous person get to Standing Rock**
If you go, first carefully read this and this (better yet, read the entire website).
If you go, don’t go to watch – go to stand with the protectors.
If you go, make sure you are set up to handle the weather – it is cold and windy.
If you go, make sure you bring MORE than you take/use and won’t infringe on their resources.
Anyone who goes can stay at my house en route.

7) Learn more:
Dallas Goldtooth
Tara Houska
Ruth Hopkins
Yaz Like Jaws
How To Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective
The Financial Powers Behind The Pipeline
Dakota Access Is In Financial Jeopardy

Please add your additional suggestions and resources in the comment section.

Fav Artist Friday ~ Ja Soon Kim

Beauty and power in organizing disorder.

A photo posted by J a S o o n K i m (@omjsk) on

A photo posted by J a S o o n K i m (@omjsk) on

• Follow Ja Soon Kim on IG here.
• Find her site and print shop here.

More Words

I want to clarify something.
Fear is not meanness.
Protest is not meanness.
Anger is not meanness.

are somehow being used interchangeably with meanness (by some).
are somehow being used to justify meanness (by some).

Bigotry IS mean.
Hate IS mean.
And while bigotry and hate often grow from fear and anger, these words are not all interchangeable.

I think it’s obvious to anyone who has spent mere minutes reading my work that I don’t support Trump, and I think Pence is the second coming of Satan. I’m glad that Mike didn’t support Trump. BUT. I have friends who voted for Trump. It’s not unlikely that 100% of my ambulance crew voted for Trump. Wyoming had the distinction of being the state with the very largest percentage of Trump voters in the nation. And maybe I’m being sensitive, or maybe I’m being naive, but I’m having a hard time with this sentiment: “Now I’m the person who doesn’t love you, Trump voters. I don’t want to be. But you hate your neighbors.” And this: “A lot of people’s terror doesn’t come just from Trump being elected. It’s knowing half the country is enjoying the pain of the other half.” And this: “A Trump supporter just followed me on Instagram. I’m not sure how I feel about this.” These statements are real, they came from very intelligent artists. These statements, and others like them, make me so sad.

It makes me sad because it’s more division. It’s division based on one thing. And whether that thing is superficial or not is up for debate and whether that thing is inherent bigotry or not is up for debate, but from where I stand in Wyoming – from my experience and that alone – I don’t agree that all Trump voters are bigots. I don’t think the blanket statements are helping anything.

And this does not negate the fear! It does not negate the anger, or disregard the protest! It can all be true. I went to Planned Parenthood on Friday for my annual exam, as I have always done. But I caught myself, as I was leaving my house, wondering if I was going to be shot to death during my appointment. My privilege – being white, in a hetero relationship, with a job that allows me to spend the majority of my time exclusively with animals – means I only feel this fear sometimes, not all the time.

I was riding my horse this weekend, wearing a tank top with Mapplethorp’s Flag printed on it (I have been riding my horse daily in tank tops in the middle of November in Wyoming, what is this world?). I was out in the hills, completely alone, no sign of human life, much less other humans. But I wondered to myself, what if I was wearing this tank top in public today? What if people who weren’t familiar with Mapplethorp’s work and life just saw me with the American flag on my chest? What would they think of me, just from that? How many would hate me, just from that? How many would fear me, just from that?

I received this in a email, and am posting it with permission:

“Several weeks ago my partner said she saw Trump as a heyoka (Lakota clown who mirrors the dark side). The heyoka’s role is to illuminate the shadow and ultimately help the people. In my prayer this morning, in despair at the election, I got back immediately that you do not engage the heyoka. You stay seated on the ground and you do not give into the fear that the heyoka creates. Stay in your prayer. Stay out of speculation. These just feed that kind of energy.

I got very strongly that the best medicine for us as a people is to keep our homes peaceful and calm, to engage in our community, to do all the small things that make up a good life, to remain kind and thoughtful, to stay in our prayer. We are part of the nurturing, and we have no idea how many of our small acts are helping other people, who go on to do other small acts. Strong community, strong neighborhood, strong households.

I have to say that usually my prayers are short and I don’t get a whole lot of words back, only a feeling or two. But this was a kind of torrent and as I stood there with my sage burning, the wind came up very strongly. Lastly, I got that humor, art, and ceremony are crucial in these times. I hope this is helpful. Big hugs to you all. I am so glad to count you as my community.

​Love, mitakuye oyasin (we are all related)” ​
–Caitlin Sullivan, Seattle

And lastly, this is really important. This is for everyone outraged by racism, white supremacy, the lies of those in power, the abuse of power by those in power, and systemic disregard for the environment. Please stand with Standing Rock TODAY!

Go to www.nodapldayofaction.org to find events in your area. TODAY. Trump has invested in two companies behind the DAPL, so if you want to hit him where it hurts, PROTEST THE DAPL.

Yesterday the Army Corps and The Obama Administration issued a statement that essentially told Water Protectors to wait. Today, across the nation, in every state, in every major city, we will tell the Army Corp and President Obama that their statement is not good enough. We will make it loud and clear that we demand a decision that honors Indigenous Rights, Human Rights, and Climate Justice! No easement for Dakota Access Pipeline! #IndigenousRising #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife

A photo posted by Dallas Goldtooth (@dallasgoldtooth) on


This week…. this year……… who’s ready for a new one????
I posted this to instagram yesterday:

everyone is so mad at each other right now 💔 one thing i’ve learned over the last few years: the microcosm IS the macrocosm. stay focused on ✨your✨ behavior, on how kind you are to yourself and to strangers and to the planet, because it does make a difference. it does.

A photo posted by Shreve Stockton (@dailycoyote) on

The clashing and meanness – from all sides – is making me so sad. Who benefits when the hoi polloi are divided and fighting amongst themselves? Why is this not obvious to everyone?

I do have something I believe everyone can agree on, something everyone will love: CHARLIE.



Failing that, CHARLIE FOR YOUR WALL!! (Not that wall. Never that wall.)

2017 calendars are finally finished and ready to brighten your days, your weeks, your year, your cubicle, your office, your home, and those of all your friends.

I have two calendars for you this year: the 2017 CHARLIE calendar, and the 2017 WITH LOVE FROM WYOMING calendar, which showcases some of my favorite photos of the Farmily and life in the wild west.

I hope you love them as much as I love you.

Click the pics to enlarge.
Order yours HERE.


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