Pipeline fighters stand with Polk County landowner at condemnation hearing

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1:00 p.m. CT, July 19, 2016

Contact: Ed Fallon, Bold Iowa Director, (515) 238-6404 or ed@boldiowa.org
Contact: Adam Mason, Political Director, Iowa CCI transparent bkgndIowa CCI, (515) 282-0484 or adam@iowacci.org

Des Moines, IA — Iowa Citizens For Community Improvement and Bold Iowa are encouraging members, allies and supporters to attend the condemnation hearing for the Higginbottom family on Monday, July 25 at 9:00 a.m. at the Polk County building at 2309 Euclid Avenue in Des Moines. When the hearing recesses at roughly 9:30-10:00, pipeline opponents and members of the Higginbottom family will hold a press conference outside the building.

“For my family, today’s hearing marks the final event resulting from the deplorable failure of government, at all levels, to protect the rights of property owners and to protect Iowa’s fragile environment,” said Dan Higginbottom, whose family has farmed the land targeted by Dakota Access for 50 years. “It is our firm belief that the condemnation of our property constitutes an illegal taking and that the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) does not possess the statutory authority to grant the power of eminent domain in this case. It is our sincere hope that the Courts will uphold property-owner rights in the suits pending before them.”

“As Dakota Access continues to throw its money and power around, pressuring landowners with what only can be described as strong-arm tactics, Bold Iowa is committed to standing with them until we stop this assault on Iowans’ land, water and property rights,” said Bold director Ed Fallon.

Last month, Bold Iowa launched the Pledge of Resistance with Iowa CCI, CREDO Action and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future. The Pledge asks signatories to commit to direct action and risk arrest to stop the pipeline, or to support those who make such a commitment. Over 1,000 people have signed the Pledge.

“It only took two Governor-appointed people on the IUB to legitimize the seizing of private land by an out-of-state, limited-liability corporation,” said Mark Edwards, a CCI member and Boone County resident who lives near the path of the pipeline. “This is not right.”

Bold Iowa is part of the national Bold Alliance, now in five states and building new alliances to fight fossil-fuel infrastructure expansion projects and promote renewable energy. Visit www.boldnebraska.org/tag/bold-alliance.

Iowa CCI is a statewide, grassroots people’s-action group that uses community organizing to win public policy that puts communities before corporations and people before profits, politics and polluters. CCI has fought to put people first for 40 years. Visit www.iowacci.org.