Pipeline Fighter to File Appeal

Dear Friends,

Heather Pearson

Late yesterday afternoon, Heather Pearson was found guilty of trespass for her brave stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline last fall. Among the many hats she wears, Heather is Bold Iowa’s Director of Rabble Rousing and is never shy about leading songs or chants during rallies and marches.

Yesterday, seated with her attorney, Channing Dutton, in a courtroom in Rockwell City, Heather comported herself with dignity and clarity on the witness stand and talking with reporters after the verdict was read.

Here’s the press release sent out this morning by Bold Iowa and the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Please share it with others, and let folks know that this pipeline fight is not over. Heather plans to appeal yesterday’s ruling, and three other pipeline fighters have cases coming up, all in Calhoun County. They are Kriss Wells, Emma Schmidt and Mahmud Fitil.

Press Conference at Heather’s trial

Over the lunch hour, a brief press conference was held in front of the Freedom Rock on the north side of the Courthouse. Click here to view video. Reporters from three local and regional papers — The Fort Dodge Messenger, The Storm Lake Times and The Calhoun County Graphic-Advocate — were at the trial for its entirety. Click here to read The Messenger article, and we’ll post the others as they’re available.

In terms of our options for justice, there’s also the lawsuit involving nine landowners and the Iowa Sierra Club, now before the Iowa Supreme Court. More on that soon.

So to those who say, “This fight is over,” today’s trial is more evidence that it’s not even close. – Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

8:00 a.m. CT, July 7, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa, 515-238-6404, ed@fallonforum.com

Iowa Pipeline Fighter Found Guilty, Will File Appeal 
Ruling in Heather Pearson’s trial ignores justification defense

Rockwell City, IA — Heather Pearson, a resident of Logan, Iowa and a Dakota Access pipeline opponent who was arrested on October 29, 2016 during nonviolent direct action to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline on Shirley Gerjets’ property in Calhoun County, was found “guilty” yesterday in a jury trial. Gerjets, age 82 and a life-long farmer, remains an outspoken critic of the pipeline, which crosses her land and includes a valve station that permanently removes farm ground from production.

Channing Dutton

“The result today is difficult to understand,” said Channing Dutton, Pearson’s attorney. “We had a great client and an excellent judge. There is no way the prosecution proved its case. This is the power of a big corporation using local law enforcement to arrest good people whose only crime is their commitment to protect our climate future and stand up for landowner rights. We’ll soldier on. There will be another day.”

Pearson plans to appeal the decision. On the stand, Pearson stated, “Why should we have to put our air, our water, our land, and our climate at risk so some private company can get rich running oil through our farmland. They’re not only stealing our land, they’re putting everything we need to survive at risk.”

Shirley Gerjets

Landowner and farmer Shirley Gerjets took the stand and told how she did everything she could to stop Dakota Access from taking her land. “I kicked those Dakota Access surveyors off my land I don’t know how many times. It was sickening the day it started. Their pickups drove through my corn, then they chopped it all down, and then the bulldozers came and messed up the topsoil. This fight has cost me lots of money and many, many sleepless nights. An agronomist told me we’d never get the land back to the way it was. As far as I’m concerned, it’s this pipeline that’s trespassing, not Heather.”

Brenda Brink

“This court case illustrated how Iowans continue to stand together against an out-of-state corporate oil pipeline that risks our livelihoods, property rights, health and water,” said Brenda Brink of the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. “Another thing that’s become clear in this trial is how the pipeline company expected local law enforcement to do whatever it wanted, regardless of the costs or other needs of the community.”

“We’re deeply disappointed in the jury’s decision,” said Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon. “Jurors got stuck on the side issue of trespass, ignoring the justification for Heather’s action. This pipeline impacts Iowa farmers, landowners and all people concerned about our land, water and climate. When our politicians fail us, as they have, civil resistance is the historically appropriate response.”

# # #

TigerSwan Operated Without a License in Iowa

Dear Friends —

Wow! Dakota Access’ hired security squad got caught cracking down on pipeline opponents in North Dakota without a license. Well, it looks like the situation in Iowa is pretty similar. Read the release below, and help us get it out to your local news sources, online networks, bathroom walls, and where ever else thinking people get their news.

To those who were planning to come to Rockwell City tomorrow for Heather Pearson’s trial, hang tight. The court has again moved the date. Now it’s July 6 and 7. And I hope to see you this Saturday for the big rally, concert and call to action featuring Gabriel Ayala at the Iowa State Capitol. — Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 3:00 p.m. CT, June 29, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa at (515) 238-6404 or ed@fallonforum.com

Company Spying on Pipeline Opponents Operated Without License
Analysis suggests TigerSwan guilty of a serious misdemeanor

Des Moines, Iowa — Conversations with two Iowa Department of Public Safety (IDPS) officials (Amber Markham and Ross Loder) and preliminary analysis of relevant records show that TigerSwan, the para-military security firm hired by Dakota Access to spy on pipeline opponents, operated in Iowa without a license for at least six months.

Flags line Oceti Sakowin’s “Main Street” at Standing Rock last November. Photo by Lyssa Wade.

After it was revealed earlier this week that North Dakota officials refused to issue TigerSwan a license to operate in that state, Ed Fallon, the head of Bold Iowa and a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, inquired with state officials as to whether TigerSwan might have been similarly negligent in Iowa.

“It was confirmed by IDPS that they received from TigerSwan an application requesting a license on November 28, 2016,” noted Fallon. “We know from reports released by The Intercept that TigerSwan was actively spying on pipeline opponents in Iowa at least as early as August 2016. The company’s license wasn’t approved until February 1, 2017, so TigerSwan should be charged with a serious misdemeanor. Dakota Access and its subcontractors have gotten away with one infraction after another. We’re going to do everything we can to hold them accountable on this. It’s like driving without a license. There are consequences for scofflaws who do that. There ought to be consequences for TigerSwan and Dakota Access, too. They aren’t above the law, though sometimes they act that way.”

Fallon has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with IDPS to obtain any and all information that might shed further light on communications between Department officials and TigerSwan.

“From everything I’ve learned so far, Iowa’s public officials acted responsibly and with impartiality,” observed Fallon. “I have every confidence they’ll provide any additional information in a timely manner.”

Fallon also learned that individuals working with TigerSwan must be credentialed by IDPS. Originally, there were only two or three credentialed employees. Yet that number jumped to 88 by May 2017.

“Yeah, that’s kind of incredible,” said Fallon. “I’m not sure why they needed a squad of 88 security personnel to crack down on a couple hundred pipeline opponents. I suspect we’ll get an answer as more and more details about this shadowy operation come to light.”

The Iowa Code Chapter relevant to licensing private investigative agencies and security agents is 80A.

# # #

NoDAPL Rally, Concert and Call to Action

Dear Friends –

I’m pumped about Saturday’s big event, spear-headed by Indigenous Iowa and highlighting the music of Gabriel Ayala. Gabriel may well be one of the most accomplished guitarists ever to perform at the Iowa State Capitol. Check out his music in the link I’ve included with this post. I guarantee you won’t want to miss Gabriel’s performance.

Saturday’s event is critical as we continue to push back against the power elite and demand justice in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline. Click here to register your attendance and to learn about the three specific actions we’re asking pipeline fighters to focus on going forward.

*******

Another pipeline fighter goes to trial this week. Come stand with Heather Pearson in Rockwell City on Friday. The trial begins at 9:00 a.m. and we’ll hold a press conference over the noon hour on the courthouse steps. Heather (a.k.a. Bold Iowa’s Director of Rabble Rousing) played a key role in the development of the Bold Action Team tactics that were so successful at slowing down pipeline construction last fall.

*******

Participants in this spring’s Climate Justice Unity March continued the conversation with residents of Deep River last Thursday over a cookout in the park where we set-up camp the first night of the March.

The whole point of the March was to show that there’s unity across the political spectrum when it comes to climate solutions. Regardless of whether people agree on the causes of climate change, nearly everyone wants renewable energy and clean water. Many thanks to Darrin and Molly Ehret, Casey and Charlotte Pierce, Jack and Kim Higginbotham and all the other Deep River area folks who helped pull this together and continue to keep the conversation going.

Picture 1: Marchers mingle with locals at a cookout last week in Deep River.
Picture 2: Kelly Boon and Shelley Buffalo.
Picture 3: Ed Fallon played accordion and Ralph King’s film crew traveled all the way from San Francisco to continue documenting the March and its impact.

*******

Check out this week’s Fallon Forum, with birthday-boy Ron Yarnell and Ed. Here are our segment topics, and you can listen to a podcast of the show here.

1. Is the scare of American Fascism overblown?
2. Health care “reform”
3. What kills more birds: Windmills or Trump Tower?
4. Big Grocer just got bigger
5. Des Moines takes a page from Havana on food production

Revoke the pipeline company’s permit!

June 26, 2017
To the Members of the Iowa Utilities Board:

In light of the recent federal court ruling that the Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fishing rights, hunting rights, or issues of environmental justice when it issued the permits needed to complete the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), I urge you to immediately revoke the DAPL permit, which had initially been granted on the basis of the Army Corps’ go-ahead.

The lack of a legitimate permit adds to Iowans’ general mistrust of Dakota Access, especially since they very recently let their insurance on it lapse.

I own land in Jasper County approximately 200 yards from the pipeline. Although incredible damage has already been done to a great deal of farmland in Jasper County and across Iowa — we could still see the end to the threat that the pipeline poses to our soil and waters in the case of a leak, through the revocation of the permit.

Thank you,

Kathy Holdefer,
Des Moines, Iowa

*******

June 27, 2017
Re: HLP-2014-0001

Iowa Utilities Board Members:

You have a unique opportunity today to stand on the right side of history and revoke the permit for the Dakota Access pipeline across Iowa.

Recently, a federal judge released his opinion in a case brought forward by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes challenging the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to grant a permit to Dakota Access. In that opinion, the judge stated that “the Court agrees that it [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial. To remedy those violations, the Corps will have to reconsider those sections of its environmental analysis upon remand by the Court.”

Shortly after, the Iowa Sierra Club and Science & Environmental Health Network filed a motion with the Iowa Utilities board to void the Iowa permit to Dakota Access because the pipeline has not met all the conditions for the permit.

The Iowa Utilities Board granted Dakota Access a permit to cross the state of Iowa and to seize private land through eminent domain, but this permit was granted on the condition that Dakota Access obtain the Army Corps of Engineers’ federal permit. Without the federal permit there is no basis for the finding of “public convenience and necessity”. Accordingly, the IUB must revoke the Iowa permit and shut down the pipeline.

This gives you, as IUB board chair and members, the opportunity to stand on the right side of history. Overwhelmingly, Iowans have opposed this pipeline. Some have taken arrest trying to protect their farms and homes from destruction. Many more have rallied, marched, signed petitions, submitted comments, written letters-to-the editor, attended legislative and county supervisor meetings, and appealed to you in public hearings over the past three years. The financial analyses put forward in the rationalization of the pipeline were paid for by Dakota Access themselves. Dave Swenson, an economist at Iowa State University, analyzed these documents and found them to be over inflated. His analysis is available online. You have the opportunity to re-examine the inflated claims brought forward by Dakota Access and have evidence of the abuse they have caused to families and our land in Iowa. This information can be used now to revoke the permit.

Already the pipeline has leaked multiple times in its testing. All pipelines eventually leak; but these can be avoided by shutting the pipeline down now. Iowa is a leader in wind energy and solar is a growing sector of our energy economy. There is no reason to continue to allow Dakota Access to put our farms, water, community health, and financial stability of the state at risk.

Sincerely,

Angie Carter
Ames,Iowa

Pipeline Opponents to Gov Reynolds: Appoint New IUB Member

Dear Friends,

When I ask folks what they think of Iowa’s new Governor, Kim Reynolds, the usual response is, “Well, nothing really.” And that’s fine. She’s only been Governor for a few weeks, and for the last six years, has existed primarily as Governor Branstad’s shadow.

Well, here’s one of Gov. Reynolds’ first big opportunities to show that she’s not just a Branstad clone. Read on, and if you agree with what Christine Nobiss and I are working to accomplish, as laid out in this press release, share it widely. And come join us on July 1st. Thanks!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1:00 p.m. CT, June 14, 2017
Contact: Ed Fallon at 515-238-6404 or ed@fallonforum.com
Contact: Christine Nobiss at 319-331-8034 or cnobiss@gmail.com

Pipeline Opponents to Gov Reynolds: Appoint New IUB Member
 July 1 action at the State Capitol announced

Richard W. Lozier, Jr.

Des Moines, Iowa — In light of Iowa Utilities Board member Richard W. Lozier, Jr.’s statement today that he is recusing himself from any votes or even discussion of the Dakota Access pipeline, Bold Iowa and Indigenous Iowa called on Governor Kim Reynolds to remove him from the board and appoint someone without a conflict of interest. Lozier served as legal counsel for the MAIN Coalition, a public relations firm with close ties to Dakota Access and Energy Transfer Partners.

Read Lozier’s recusal statement here.

“It’s mind boggling that Gov. Branstad appointed someone with such a clear conflict of interest on the biggest issue ever to come before the IUB,” said Ed Fallon. “The question now is will Gov. Reynolds do the right thing: remove Lozier from the board and appoint someone who’s not beholden to the fossil fuel industry.”

“Big Oil and its minions within state government keep giving us more reasons to fight,” said Christine Nobiss, founder of Indigenous Iowa. “We’ll rally at the State Capitol on July 1, right in front of her office, and I hope she’s working that day so she hears our message: ‘No more political patronage for fossil fuel flunkies!’”

The July 1 action (click here for details) will be on the south side of the Iowa State Capitol, just outside the Governor’s office and across from the Iowa Supreme Court Building. The event’s focus is twofold:

  1. Encourage Gov. Reynolds to remove Lozier from the IUB, and
  2. Remind the public of the importance of the lawsuit pending before the Iowa Supreme Court, in which a group of landowners allege eminent domain was used illegally to take their land for the pipeline. Sierra Club Iowa Chapter is also a plaintiff in that lawsuit, alleging that the IUB should not have issued a permit to Dakota Access.

# # #

BREAKING: IUB to DAPL: Get Insurance by Tuesday

Happy Friday Folks –

Below is the official order from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) regarding DAPL letting the insurance on its oil pipeline lapse (click here to see the original). Yeah, I know, releasing news on a Friday afternoon is a great way to suppress it. Let’s do what we can to change that. Read the order, below, and help circulate the press release I sent out here. Thanks! – Ed

[BREAKING AS OF 4:40 P.M. Central Time: Fallon just got off the phone with IUB staff person who said, “I can’t confirm whether Dakota Access does or does not have insurance right now.”]

IN RE:
DAKOTA ACCESS, LLC
STATE OF IOWA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE UTILITIES BOARD
DOCKET NO. HLP-2014-0001

ORDER REGARDING INSURANCE REQUIREMENT
(Issued June 9, 2017)

On March 10, 2016, the Utilities Board issued its “Final Decision and Order” in this docket. In the order, among other things, the Board directed Dakota Access, LLC (Dakota Access), to file and maintain at least $25,000,000 in general liability insurance, to be re-filed and reviewed each time it is renewed for the life of the pipeline. (See Ordering Clause No. 3.a at p. 153.)

On March 16, 2016, Dakota Access filed general liability, excess liability, and umbrella insurance policies with the Board, followed by public (redacted versions) on June 1, 2016. The filing included confirmation of coverage for the term from March 15, 2016, to March 15, 2017. On March 22, 2017, Dakota Access filed written endorsements extending the terms of the policies to May 1, 2017. Dakota Access said that it intended to renew or replace the policies for a longer term on or about May 1, 2017, and would file written evidence of the renewal or replacement promptly thereafter. Then, on May 15, 2017, filed endorsements further extending the terms of the policies to June 1, 2017, and said that because the pipeline was expected to go

DOCKET NO. HLP-2014-0001 PAGE 2

into service in the near future, it had secured new policies to replace the existing policies, which “will be filed with the Board as soon as they are available.”

As of June 7, 2017, no such filing has been made. It is important that the Board have accurate, up-to-date information regarding the insurance for this pipeline. Accordingly, the Board will direct Dakota Access to file, on or before June 13, 2017, either (a) the new insurance policies or (b) a detailed report describing the status of the policies and stating when they will be filed.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED:
On or before June 13, 2017, Dakota Access, LLC, shall file either (a) insurance policies complying with the requirements of Ordering Clause No. 3.a in the “Final Decision and Order” issued in this docket on March 10, 2016, or (b) a detailed report describing the status of insurance for the pipeline that is the subject of this docket, including a statement of when new insurance policies will be filed.

ATTEST:
/s/ Trisha M. Quijano
UTILITIES BOARD
/s/ Geri D. Huser
/s/ Nick Wagner

Executive Secretary, Designee
Dated at Des Moines, Iowa, this 9th day of June 2017.

Pipeline Trial Sets Precedent

Dear Friends,

The trial for pipeline-fighter Kriss Wells just wrapped up this afternoon. Kriss (pictured below) is a long-time resident of the Quad Cities and a retired social worker. Despite a strong presentation that focused on the climate justifcation for his nonviolent direct action, Kriss received a verdict of “guilty” in a jury trial today at the Boone County Courthouse. He was one of thirty pipeline opponents charged with trespass on August 31, 2016 while blocking vehicles from leaving or entering a staging area along Highway 30 east of Boone, and the only one of the group to plead “not guilty” and to request a jury trial.

Here’s the press release sent out earlier this afternoon as a cooperative effort between the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition and Bold Iowa. Please share and let’s get the word out! Thanks, and read on below the release for information about the Fallon Forum. – Ed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2017
Contact:
Kriss Wells: 563-343-3295, kriss444@aol.com
Carolyn Raffensperger: 515-450-2320, raffensperger@cs.com
Ed Fallon: 515-238-6404, ed@fallonforum.com

Pipeline opponent “guilty,” but trial sets precedent for justification defense

Boone, Iowa — Kriss Wells (pictured below), a long-time resident of the Quad Cities and a retired social worker, received a verdict of “guilty” in a jury trial today at the Boone County Courthouse. Wells was one of thirty pipeline opponents charged with trespass on August 31, 2016 while blocking vehicles from leaving or entering a staging area along Highway 30 east of Boone. Wells was the only one of the group to plead “not guilty” and to request a jury trial. The August 31 action was organized by Bold Iowa and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and drew over 100 participants.

“I’m certainly disappointed in the jury’s decision,” said Wells. “Court rulings have been all over the board in this pipeline fight, and I hope for a different outcome with my trial in Calhoun County on June 28. I did this in part for my grandkids and their future, and I’ll continue to speak out and take action.”

The plaintiffs see this case as setting a new precedent in Iowa. The defense explained its justification for trespassing by raising concerns about the urgency to address climate change, water quality and the misuse of eminent domain.

“Today climate change was on trial,” said Carolyn Raffensperger with the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. “Kriss Wells was justified in challenging the Iowa Utilities Board’s permit allowing Dakota Access to build this crude oil pipeline, which will do irreparable harm to our climate and planet.”

“That action last summer marked a key point in the escalation of opposition to the pipeline,” said Ed Fallon, director of Bold Iowa. “It garnered national attention to our struggle. Kriss’ act of nonviolent civil disobedience and his decision to take his arrest to trial are statements of commitment and courage that continue to inspire others.”

Despite the oil beginning to flow last week, efforts to resist the pipeline continue, with a rally planned this Saturday in Des Moines, a flotilla on the Des Moines River in Boone County on June 17, and a protest against the Iowa Utilities Board on July 1.

# # #

Spies Validate Our Success

Dear Friends,

If you spend 20 minutes reading anything this week, let it be this incredible story by The Intercept. In an age when independent investigative journalism is rare and threats against our liberty are growing, this is a must read.

The story reveals how a “shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures”.

Spying and infiltration focused on pipeline opponents mostly in North Dakota and Iowa. The story exposes how “TigerSwan spearheaded a multifaceted private security operation characterized by sweeping and invasive surveillance of protesters”.

Christine, Ed and Cyndy Coppola approach construction equipment at first BAT action on September 20, 2016.

When The Intercept contacted me I readily agreed to allow my name to be unredacted. Every freedom-loving, pipeline-fighting, land-defending patriot caught in TigerSwan’s web should be proud to be a threat to Big Oil.

Even though Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) says oil will begin to flow on June 1st, there’s no doubt our efforts have been impactful. Here’s an excerpt from one of TigerSwan’s reports describing our mobile Bold Action Teams (BATs):

Christine Sheller and Arlo blocking construction equipment at first BAT action on September 20, 2016.

“Bold Iowa’s BAT tactic was unfortunately successful today. Work was stopped at several sites and used up a lot of our resources…If the lockdown tactics of Mississippi Stand and the BAT tactics of Bold Iowa were to join forces it would severely impact our mission.”

And TigerSwan is still monitoring our activities! Here’s an anonymous tip I received yesterday:

“TigerSwan is definitely deeply imbedded in Iowa. They have upped all of their men between Fort Dodge and Sioux Falls. Hotels in the areas in between are filled with their crews.”

ETP is concerned what we, the People, still might do to resist their illegal pipeline trampling our Constitutional rights and threatening our land, water and climate.

Let’s give ’em something to worry about. Here’s a few upcoming events that I hope you’ll attend:

(Note: Regarding trials, always check the day before to confirm they’re still happening, as the Court often postpones a trial at the last minute.)

TigerSwan, we understand why you lurk in the shadows. But we have nothing to hide. Truth and history are on our side. The selfish motives of greedy men like ETP’s Kelcy Warren will be exposed. Our rights will be restored. Our sacred land and water will be protected. It may take time, but we’re in it for the long haul — persistently, prayerfully, nonviolently and respectfully.

Thanks for watching, TigerSwan. And now you know: We’re watching you, too.

Climate Emergency justification in Pearson’s trial

Dear Friends,

Here’s the release Bold Iowa sent out on Friday about this Wednesday’s press conference, organized jointly with the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Heather Pearson’s jury trial for her arrest last fall as part of Bold Iowa’s “Farmers Defense Camp” is significant. Read the details below, and join us on Wednesday in Rockwell City for the trial and press conference.

Heather Pearson

Please share this release with your local news outlets and circulate it through your online networks. And since a Judge sometimes postpones a trial with short notice, check this Facebook Page on Tuesday to make sure the Wednesday trial and press conference are still on.

Heather’s trial has the potential to impact pipeline fights, eminent domain law and climate change in a big way. Let’s support her and the other fighters who have taken brave stands against this unprecedented attack on our land, water and property rights!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2017

Contact:
Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa: 515-238-6404ed@boldiowa.org
Jessica Fears, Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition, 515-450-9627fearsj@gmail.com

Iowa Woman Arrested Stopping Dakota Access Construction on Iowa Landowner’s Property Taken by Eminent Domain to Plead “Not Guilty,” Citing “Climate Emergency” Justification for Trespassing

Bold Iowa’s “Farmer Defense Camp” was established with permission on eminent domain holdout landowner Shirley Gerjets’ property, a first of its kind in Dakota Access pipeline fight

Rockwell City, IA — Heather Pearson, a resident of Logan, Iowa and Water Protector who was arrested in October 2016 during a nonviolent direct action to stop construction on the Dakota Access pipeline on Iowa farmer Shirley Gerjets’ property, will plead “not guilty” to charges of trespassing in Calhoun County court on May 24.

Pearson will argue in court that a “climate emergency,” outlined in a document signed by 188 Iowa climate science faculty from 39 institutions from all over the state, justified her action to stop construction on the pipeline that is abusing eminent domain for private gain and threatening our land, water and climate.

• WHAT: Trial of Dakota Access Direct Action Participant Pleading “Not Guilty”
• WHERE: Calhoun County Courthouse, 400 Main St., Rockwell City, IA
• WHEN: Wednesday, May 24
◦ 9:00 a.m: Trial start time
◦ 12:00 p.m. / lunch break: Press conference (Note: If the trial ends before noon, participants will also be immediately available for comment.)

(Check out the video of the action where Heather was arrested, and scroll down on that page to view the “Climate Emergency” document and affidavit signinghttp://boldiowa.org/2016/11/07/climateemergency)

Under Iowa state law, “justification” is a valid defense to charges of trespassing.

All of the Water Protectors arrested on Oct. 29 were invited on Shirley Gerjets’ property with express permission, in the form of a written affidavit from Shirley. In addition to Pearson, two other Water Protectors intend to plead “not guilty” to trespassing charges stemming from the Oct. 29 action and have pending court dates in Calhoun County (Emma Stewart, of Rockwell City, IA and Mahmud Fitil, of Omaha, NE).

Meanwhile, the Dakota Access pipeline workers and private security personnel were on Shirley’s property only by power of eminent domain, which Shirley strongly opposed. Shirley also had “No Trespassing” signs posted on her property that expressly forbade Dakota Access on her land.

The court will be tasked with determining who is the victim of “trespassing,” when a landowner is actively challenging eminent domain authority granted for a pipeline easement, and yet her expressly invited guests are arrested and charged with “trespassing” on the same land where eminent domain authority is still under judicial review.

Several of those who were arrested appeared to have been physically detained not by Iowa State Patrol, Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies, or other law enforcement, but rather by men wearing yellow jackets believed to be private security hired by Dakota Access Pipeline.

Were these private security “deputized” by Calhoun County law enforcement, the state of Iowa, or some other authority to detain citizens? The court must determine on what authority these security personnel were acting, and whether their actions constituted false imprisonment.

“In Iowa, eminent domain has always been intended strictly for public purposes,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “And in 2006, during my last session as a state lawmaker, House and Senate members voted overwhelmingly to further strengthen eminent domain law in response to the ‘Kelo’ U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Given that amended law, this lawsuit makes a powerful case that Dakota Access violated the law. Those of us invited onto the land by the property owner had every right to be there.”

# # #

New IUB conflict revealed as DAPL request denied!

To those who say, “The fight against the Dakota Access pipeline is over, so just move on,” we pipeline fighters and water protectors say, “Not so fast!”

Lawsuit plaintiffs at a 2016 press conference

Tuesday, the Iowa Supreme Court sided with nine Iowa landowners and the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, rejecting Dakota Access’ request to have the landowners’ lawsuit dismissed!

The Court’s order reads: “Dakota Access contends this appeal should be dismissed because the appellant, Sierra Club Iowa Chapter, has failed to establish proper standing in this matter and the remaining appellants’ claims are moot. Upon consideration, the motion to dismiss is denied. Dakota Access may raise the issues regarding standing and mootness in its appellate brief.”

The march after the landowners’ hearing at the Polk County Courthouse in December

Click here to read the complete order: 17. Order – Motion to Dismiss Denied

This is a really big deal. It means the case against the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) and Dakota Access will move forward, with a schedule for court filings being established and a trial likely later this year or early in 2018.

The Court’s order revealed another important and disturbing development. Richard W. Lozier, Jr. requested permission to withdraw as counsel for the MAIN Coalition — a front group for Dakota Access. The Court rightfully granted that request. What’s incredible is that Governor Branstad recently appointed Lozier to the IUB, filling the seat vacated by Libby Jacobs, despite this clear conflict of interest!

Richard W. Lozier, Jr.

If Branstad wanted to inflame pipeline opponents and encourage further criticism of the rampant corruption within his administration, putting Lozier on the IUB was the perfect way to do that.

Now the burden of defending this wolf-guards-hen-house appointment falls to Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. It’ll be interesting to see how Reynolds responds. If she kowtows to Big Oil and keeps Lozier on the IUB, don’t be surprised if her Republican opponent(s) make hay with it leading up to next June’s gubernatorial primary.