Saturday Oct. 1: Join the Mississippi Stand

Dear Friends,

Thirty people participated in Civil Disobedience against the Bakken Pipeline on August 31 near Boone, Iowa.

We’re calling on the more than 2,500 of you who have now signed the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance, to join pledge co-sponsors Bold Iowa and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement on Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Mississippi Stand nonviolence training and direct action to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline in southeast Iowa (near Keokuk).

For those of you willing to risk arrest, you must attend a nonviolence training. Earth First will be leading a nonviolence civil disobedience training at 10:00 a.m. We will also need many supporters not risking arrest to assist with the booking and release of anyone who is arrested, and to stand in solidarity and help document the action.

  • WHAT: Mississippi Stand Nonviolence Training & Direct Action to Stop Dakota Access
  • WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
    • 9:00 a.m: Water Ceremony
    • 10:00 a.m: Nonviolent civil disobedience training by Earth First
    • 12:00 p.m: Direct Action planning, depart for direct action
  • WHERE: Mississippi Stand: 3333 Mississippi River Road, Keokuk, IA 52632 (map)
  • DETAILS: Visit the Mississippi Stand event on Facebook.

CAN’T JOIN US ON SATURDAY

Chip in $5, $8 or whatever you can to support those risking arrest with legal costs and fines via the Bakken Pledge of Resistance Legal Fund.

Thanks for continuing to stand with us, in solidarity with Standing Rock and the Tribal Nations at the Sacred Stone Camp, to oppose the Dakota Access pipeline that threatens our land and water.

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SLAPP Suit Dismissed!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 21, 2016

Contact:
Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa, 515-238-6404ed@boldiowa.org
Adam Mason, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, 515-314-2655adam@iowacci.org
Jane Kleeb, Bold Alliance, 402-705-3622jane@boldalliance.org

Dakota Access Withdraws Federal Lawsuit That Sought Restraining Order Against Bold Iowa, Iowa CCI to Silence Peaceful Nonviolent Actions to Stop Pipeline Construction

“Midwest Mobilization” event Thursday at Boone County Fairgrounds is next in series of direct actions by 2,400+ signers of Bakken Pledge of Resistance

Des Moines — Dakota Access, LLC on Wednesday completely withdrew its federal lawsuit against Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and Bold director Ed Fallon and Iowa CCI policy director Adam Mason, wherein the company had sought a preliminary injunction and a restraining order aimed at silencing our ongoing peaceful, nonviolent direct actions to stop construction of this pipeline that threatens land, water and climate.

“This validates our belief all along that this was a frivolous lawsuit designed to silence our voices against the Dakota Access pipeline,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “But we have refused to remain silent, and all our actions have been and will continue to be peaceful and nonviolent expressions of our First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly. We continue to urge Pres. Obama to halt construction on Dakota Access in Iowa and along the entire pipeline route.”

“This dismissal is one more small victory in our fight to stop Dakota Access and the pipeline,” said Cherie Mortice, Iowa CCI board president. “We’ll continue to use all of the means at our disposal; building a bigger base and moving them to peaceful non-violent action until President Obama steps in and shuts this pipeline down.”

“Today’s dismissal is one more small victory in our fight to stop Dakota Access and the Bakken Pipeline, said Cherie Mortice, Iowa CCI board president. “We’ll continue to use all of the means at our disposal; building a bigger base and moving them to peaceful non-violent action until President Obama steps in and shuts this pipeline down.”

“When citizens are attacked by Big Oil for standing up for their property rights and free speech, we win,” said Bold Alliance president Jane Kleeb.

Iowa CCI and Bold Iowa’s next direct action is today’s “Midwest Mobilization,” which will take place from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The event will include a nonviolence training, a simultaneous Just Transition teach-in, a session featuring landowners’ perspectives on the pipeline, and cap off with a nonviolent direct action to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline.

WHAT: Midwest Mobilization to Stop Dakota Access
WHO: Bold Iowa, Iowa CCI, 100 Grannies for a Livable Future and signers of the Bakken Pledge of Resistance
WHERE: Boone County Fairgrounds, 1601 Industrial Park Rd., Boone, IA 50036
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 22, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Bold Iowa and Iowa CCI are co-organizers of the “Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance,” which has now been signed by 2,400 citizens, including over 550 who have pledged to risk arrest in acts of peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience to stop construction on the pipeline.

To date, nearly 100 citizens have been arrested in Iowa in acts of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline.

(View the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance: http://bit.ly/bakkenpledge)

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“BATs” Block Pipeline Construction

Dear Friends,

Are you ready to join a BAT to help stop the Dakota Access pipeline? Check out the press release describing yesterday’s inaugural BAT action, and let me know you’re ready to help. Thanks! – Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8:00 a.m. CT, Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa Director, (515) 238-6404 or ed@fallonforum.com

“BATs” Block Pipeline Construction
Bold Iowa launches “Bold Action Teams” 

Christine, Ed and Cyndy approach construction equipment.

Christine, Ed and Cyndy approach construction equipment removing topsoil in Webster County.

Des Moines, IA — Yesterday, Bold Iowa launched a new initiative called BATs (Bold Action Teams), aiming to stop construction along the entire length of the Dakota Access pipeline in Iowa. The first team of Christine Sheeler, Cyndy Coppola, Lisa Homann, Ed Fallon and Christine’s dog Arlo blocked construction in Webster County for over an hour Tuesday morning. When law enforcement arrived and asked the team to leave, they did — and traveled to Boone County where they interrupted construction for another 20 minutes.

Christine Sheller and Arlo blocking construction equipment.

Christine Sheller and Arlo blocking construction equipment.

“BATs are small teams of pipeline fighters who mobilize across the state to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline whenever and wherever they find it,” explained Ed Fallon, the director of Bold Iowa. “Yesterday marked our initial foray into this escalation of Bold Iowa’s commitment to working with our allies to take a peaceful, nonviolent stand against this assault on our soil, water, climate and property rights.”

While adhering to the firm code of nonviolence central to Bold’s philosophy, BATs are decentralized and autonomous by design. Teams deploy whenever and wherever they are inclined. When they find pipeline construction or vehicles heading to or from a worksite, they physically and cautiously block those vehicles and equipment. When law enforcement officials arrive, team members have the discretion to continue to block construction or to leave, possibly moving to another site.

Christine, Ed, Arlo and Lisa.

Christine, Ed, Arlo and Lisa.

“Swarms of BATs covering the state could effectively shut down construction in a meaningful, significant way,” said Fallon. “If dozens and dozens of BATs step forward, we could halt construction the way Iowa farmers shut down farm auctions during the 1980s Farm Crisis, standing with their neighbors and preventing the auctions from going forward.”

Earlier this summer, Bold Iowa and Iowa CCI launched the Pledge of Resistance. Over 2,400 people have signed the Pledge, committing to help stop the Dakota Access pipeline through risking arrest and/or supporting those risking arrest. Other Pledge partners now include CREDO Action and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.

Ed and Cyndy approach bulldozer in Boone County.

Ed and Cyndy approach bulldozer in Boone County.

Bold Iowa is part of the Bold Alliance, building a coalition of small-and-mighty groups in rural states to fight Big Oil, protect landowners against the abuse of eminent domain, and work for clean energy solutions while empowering a political base of voters who care about the land and water.

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Listen to the Fallon Forum:

– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Whirlwind

Dear Friends,

When it comes to fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline, this past week has seen a whirlwind of activity. Not counting the amazing work being done by our Native allies in the Dakotas — and all the solidarity organizing happening around the country — check out just a sampling of action in Iowa:

– Saturday’s nonviolence training and action (here);
– Tuesday’s solidarity rally as part of the National Day of Action (here); and
– Wednesday’s press conference and petition delivery (here).

And still to come this week . . .
– Thursday’s court appearance for the 30 arrested on August 31 (here);
– Friday’s court appearance for the 18 arrested on September 10 (here); and
– Saturday’s direct action at the Mississippi River (here).

More activity is in the works for next week. Stay tuned for details, and “like” the Bold Iowa Facebook page for the most immediate updates.

What started as a regional fight to stop an oil pipeline has now become an international “cause célèbre.” This is one for the history books, and to all who value our planet, our water, the treaty rights of Native communities and the property rights of Midwestern farmers, thank you for helping to make history. And please join us as we continue the struggle!

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Thanks to Lora Fraracci for guest-hosting the Fallon Forum this week. Among other topics, Lora and her guests discuss how insane it is that C-section rates remain so high, and why tribal leaders are rising to oppose the Dakota Access Pipeline. Check out the podcast here.

Listen to the Fallon Forum:

– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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A Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

Our battle to stop the Dakota Access/Bakken Pipeline has gone from regional to national, and now to international. Yesterday in Laos, a student actually asked President Obama about the pipeline. Click here to see the exchange.

Also this week, I  received a letter from the President in response to two letters I and others wrote to him in April and May. The first letter, signed by Jane Kleeb, Dallas Goldtooth, Frank James and me, commends the President for rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline. Our specific request reads, “{W}e ask you in the strongest possible terms to exert the same clarion leadership with regards to the proposed Bakken Pipeline.”

His response (included here) is disappointing.obama-letter-8-31-16

Click here to view the two letters we sent to the President.

Let’s help President Obama do the right thing here. So much is happening right now, including direct action organized by Bold Iowa and Iowa CCI this Saturday, September 10th. For details about that, visit the invitation posted on Facebook:

Direct Action to Stop the Dakota Access/Bakken Pipeline

Between what’s happening in North Dakota with our Native allies, the continued efforts of landowners and environmentalists in Iowa, and now students in Laos, momentum continues to build to stop this pipeline. That said, it saddens me to hear reports from landowners who continue to have their property rights trampled by Dakota Access. One landowner told me that after four inches of rain, the bulldozers still showed up and worked his soaking-wet topsoil.

Another landowner told me pipeline workers failed to put up a fence to keep her cattle away from construction. Her cattle broke out on several occasions and got into her corn. One cow even fell into the pipeline trench and died.

Along the Des Moines River in Boone County, vigilant pipeline fighters monitoring construction noticed construction crews actually working in the rain. They called local law enforcement, who came to the site and ordered the construction crew to stop.

The bottom line is this: Everything we continue to do to fight this pipeline is a small victory, a step forward, another reason why President Obama will eventually have to weigh in, like he did with Keystone. So please, keep at it folks. Do everything you can, within the parameters of nonviolence, to help stop this pipeline. We are gaining momentum, and we will win!

*******

Listen to the Fallon Forum:

– Live Mondays, 11:00-12:00 noon CT on La Reina KDLF 1260 AM (Des Moines, IA)
– Outside of central Iowa, listen live here: FALLON FORUM LIVE-STREAM
– KHOI 89.1 FM (Ames, IA)
– KICI.LP 105.3 FM (Iowa City, IA)
– WHIV 102.3 FM (New Orleans, LA)
– KPIP-LP, 94.7 FM (Fayette, MO)

Thanks! – Ed Fallon

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Pipeline Protesters Stand For The Rights of Workers

Dear Friends,

Wednesday morning, en route to Pilot Mound for nonviolence training and direct action, Adam Mason and I co-authored an op ed titled “Pipeline Protesters Stand For The Rights of Workers,” which appeared today in The Des Moines Register. Here it is:

As we celebrate Labor Day, all Iowans and Americans should remember the thousands of laborers throughout America’s history who have fought and sacrificed for the benefits most of us take for granted. Their sacrifices included the use of civil disobedience and non-violent protest that required great courage and often came at great personal expense.

There are many examples of Labor’s embrace of nonviolent action, including the use of sit-down strikes organized by the Industrial Workers of the World and the Congress of Industrial Organizations’ free-speech confrontations. These peaceful strategies were instrumental in the passage of child labor laws, improved working conditions, and establishment of the 40-hour work week.

Both Iowa CCI and Bold Iowa are strong supporters of the rights of workers. As a state lawmaker, Ed stood with workers on picket lines dozens of times, and over the course of 14 years in the Legislature, accrued an 88% pro-labor voting record. Iowa CCI fights for low-wage workers victimized by wage theft and has been a leader statewide in the “Fight for $15” movement.

So, it was discouraging to read Bill Gerhard, president of the Iowa State Building Trades, disparage our organizations and our fight to defend working farmers, landowners and the environment we all share against the Bakken oil pipeline. {North Dakota Lawlessness Threatens to Spill Into Iowa, August 31, 2016}

For Gerhard to imply that alleged isolated incidents of violence (and yes, they are only alleged, not documented) by pipeline opponents in North Dakota suggest that violence will “come to Iowa” is unfair and illogical.

Spreading rumors and misinformation like this only helps to divide our movements and distract from our shared struggle against corporate control of our labor system, food supply and environment.

Both our organizations are firmly committed to direct action that is 100% peaceful and nonviolent. We take our inspiration from the 1960s civil rights struggle, the women’s suffrage movement, and yes, the labor movement itself.

If detractors want to review the most recent example of our strong commitment to peaceful nonviolence, just look at the mass action we organized against the Bakken pipeline this past Wednesday. Over 100 people participated in that action, and 30 were arrested. Law enforcement members of both the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the Iowa State Patrol repeatedly commented on how cooperative, well-behaved, and yes, peaceful were all participants.

Again, both personally and through our respective organizations, we stand with labor in the fight to bring renewable-energy jobs that provide long-term, good paying jobs to Iowa, jobs that don’t tear up Iowa’s farmland, threaten our water and climate, and trample the private-property rights of rural landowners.

{Ed Fallon is the director of Bold Iowa. Adam Mason is the state policy director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Contact Ed at ed@boldiowa.org and Adam at adam@iowacci.org.}

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A Message for Trump, Then Direct Action

Dear Friends,

Our Native allies in North Dakota are making tremendous sacrifices as they stand strong to stop the Bakken Pipeline. Now it’s our turn to ramp-up the fight here in Iowa! Earlier this summer, Bold Iowa, Iowa CCI, 100 Grannies and CREDO Action challenged people to sign the Pledge of Resistance, committing either to risk arrest or support those who are arrested to stop pipeline construction.

With the courts in limbo and President Obama silent, we are at the point in this struggle where non-violent direct action is essential. Our first action will be Wednesday, August 31st near Pilot Mound (see below for details).

Before I tell you more about that, I’d like to invite you to an event to call-out Donald Trump for his personal abuse of eminent domain and his misguided support for oil pipelines.

WHAT:  Peaceful protest while we carry signs and a replica of the Bakken pipeline to tell Donald Trump that he should oppose the abuse of eminent domain and the Bakken pipeline

WHEN: Saturday, August 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Meet at 10:00 at Ritual Cafe (1301 Locust St in Des Moines) for a briefing, then carpool to the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the protest. If your schedule doesn’t allow you to join us at 10:00,meet us at the Fairgrounds by 11:15.

RSVP by responding to this message, or sign-up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/184836285255322

Now, about direct action. This may be the most important moment yet in our fight to stop the pipeline. It’s in the middle of the week, but there are reasons why we have to work with that date. I really hope you can join us. We need a strong showing, and plenty of people to support those risking arrest.

WHAT: Bakken Pipeline Direct Action and Nonviolence Training

WHEN: Wednesday, Aug. 31, with Nonviolence Training from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Direct Action from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (approx. time) at an undisclosed location

WHERE: Community Hall, 112 Pilot St., Pilot Mound, IA 50223 (map)

RSVP: Click here to RSVP to attend the Training and Direct Action or send me a message in response to this email.

Those individuals who complete the training and commit to risking arrest will be supported with bonding out of jail, if necessary, and follow-up legal aid. Others are encouraged to attend and fill volunteer support roles, and to stand in solidarity and observe and record while direct action is taking place. (Click here to donate to the Bakken Pledge legal defense fund.) After you RSVP, we’ll follow-up with you via email and phone with additional details.

If you are tied up that morning but able to participate in the action and have previously completed non-violence training, let’s talk. For a number of reasons, it’s important for people risking arrest to attend the training. But we are able to make some exceptions if you’ve been through this before.

As we finalize our plans to activate signers of the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance (and we thank the over 1,100 people who have signed!), we are inspired by the Sacred Stones Camp set-up by our Tribal Nation allies in North Dakota to protect the Missouri River — which provides drinking water for more than 18 million people.

And we are inspired by the brave Iowa farmers and landowners who continue to resist the tremendous pressure brought against them by the pipeline company. Beyond the emotional and psychological challenges, these landowners are incurring significant costs defending their right to not have a privately-owned oil pipeline slash through their fairground and precious soils.

Thanks, and I hope to see you this coming Saturday and for sure next Wednesday!

Ed Fallon

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