First, a reminder about our exciting event this Sunday with Jane Kleeb and Josh Fox. We’ll watch Fox’s new film on climate, and Jane will update us on the battle to stop the pipeline. We’ll enjoy music from Josh and some of our Native allies and remarks from Adam Mason with Iowa CCI. Cyd’s Catering is bringing some wonderful snacks made from Iowa-grown food. Oh, and I’ll emcee, assuring that no other theater in America this weekend will feature a state’s “Number One Hellraiser” and another state’s “Most Controversial Woman.” Really, you don’t want to miss this. Details here.
What else don’t you want to miss? #FarmersDefenseCamp! This week, we set up an encampment on land owned by Shirley Gerjets, a farmer who has fought the pipeline every step of the way. While the camp itself can accommodate about twenty overnight campers (let us know if you’re interested), we hope hundreds turn out for the actions, especially this coming Saturday. Deatils here.
If you ever feel that our efforts are in vain, well here’s proof that they’re not. Kudos to Marisa Cummings and her daughter for standing strong and speaking out against injustice. And thank you to Calhoun County Sheriff Bill Davis for pushing Dakota Access to do the right thing, and for pipeline fighter Heather Pearson for doing such a great job at being our liaison with local law enforcement. Here’s the press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2016
Dakota Access Employee Who Made Sexual Solicitation of Water Protector and Daughter is Fired, Sent Back to Texas
Dakota Access worker heard asking, “How much for the little girl?” out of his pickup trick window during Bold Iowa direct action on Oct. 15
Des Moines — The Dakota Access employee who made a sexual solicitation of a peaceful female Water Protector and her daughter during Bold Iowa’s nonviolent direct action on Oct. 15 has been terminated and sent back to Texas, Bold Iowa has learned.
The Dakota Access employee was driving a silver Ford pickup truck with Texas license plates when he shouted at the woman and her daughter, “How much for the little girl?”
Calhoun County sheriff William Davis reports that the employee, whose identity was not disclosed, has been identified by Dakota Access, and terminated from his position with the company as a result of the disgusting incident.
“When one asks to purchase a woman of color near a pipeline site, you evoke a feeling of threat and intimidation,” said Marisa Cummings, who along with her daughter was the target of the solicitation by the Dakota Access employee on Oct. 15. “Native American women are found missing and murdered throughout the oil fields of America and Canada. We are more likely to be raped by a non-Native male than any other racial group. Human trafficking and rape is a reality for our women. We want the man who attempted to intimidate and harass us held accountable for his actions. I am disappointed that local law enforcement did not allow us to file charges. I will not pat the Dakota Access Pipeline workers on the back for terminating the employee. The action against their employee was only taken after we went to the media and released our story and gained a public outcry for his actions.”
Video of the sexual solicitation by a Dakota Access employee of a woman and her daughter during Bold Iowa’s Oct. 15 action may be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1197616650328457/
Bold Iowa sees this incident as indicative of what has already been documented at “mancamps” set up by pipeline companies to house construction and oilfield workers — increased violence, drugs, and human trafficking.
To date, more than 2,500 people have signed the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance, which is supported by Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, CREDO Action, and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.
View the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance here.
On Oct. 25, Bold Iowa set up an encampment in Calhoun County with farmer Shirley Gerjets, whose land was taken against her wishes via eminent domain by Dakota Access to build the pipeline.
On Aug. 31, 30 people were arrested during a Bakken Pledge of Resistance direct action to stop pipeline construction in Boone County.
On Sept. 10, 19 people were arrested at a Bakken Pledge direct action in Boone County.
On Sept. 22, more than 175 people participated in a “Midwest Mobilization” action that stopped construction on the pipeline in Boone County.
On Oct. 15, landowner Cyndy Coppola and Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon were arrested on Cyndy’s own property, which lies inside the pipeline route.
Bold Iowa Action Teams (BATs) have also participated in smaller, decentralized direct actions to stop construction on the pipeline at various locations over the past few weeks — including on Sept. 21 in Webster County, and at other sites in Boone County and near Farrar, in Polk County.
Between Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance actions, and the nonviolent actions that have been organized by allies at the “Mississippi Stand” encampment in southeast Iowa, to date close to 170 arrests of Pipeline Fighters have been made in Iowa while standing up to stop Dakota Access.
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