Megaloads and the Big Picture

Jan Johnson, Moscow

Moscow-Pullman Daily News 9/8/11

I am writing in response to your weekend editorial, “Protesters fighting the wrong fight in Moscow,” (Daily News, August 27-28) and Henry D. Johnston’s column, “An asinine exercise in pure stupidity,” (Daily News, August 30) regarding local megaload protests: Both writers are incredibly misinformed, naive and/or disingenuous to think these local protests were ever only about the use of heavy trucks on Idaho roads.

And had Johnston attended the protests, in addition to “hippies,” he would have seen children, families, college students and faculty, and various other community members. Both writers demonstrate an alarmingly narrow understanding of the megaloads and Alberta Tar Sands issues. The only issue Idaho residents were allowed to argue in court is the use of Idaho roads by trucks bound for the Tar Sands. The moral and ethical issues were not allowed in court.

First, Native people near the Tar Sands are being poisoned and sacrificed for oil development. And this apparently is legal!

Second, the damage to the environment caused by this development is enormous and unprecedented.

People worldwide are protesting the Tar Sands and the Keystone Pipeline project, which would transport oil through the U.S. Midwest over the Oglala Aquifer and across Native American lands. Hundreds of people are going to jail because they care deeply about the well-being of indigenous people and the North American environment. Instead of insulting people who still believe in democracy and in working to make our country a better, more just and sustainable place, please, wake up and get educated. I invite you and our entire community to attend screenings of “H2Oil” and “The Tipping Point” at the University of Idaho this fall, free of charge. History teaches us that what is legal is not necessarily right or just, and that it sometimes takes people demonstrating in the streets to create a more just society.

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