Adam Mason, state policy director for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, says the group is being encouraged by those opposing the project elsewhere.
“Folks are feeling even more inspired by the events taking place in North Dakota and also are really ready to ramp up our own resistance to the pipeline here in Iowa,” Mason says. “We’ve seen construction crews from Dakota Access really ramp up their construction, sometimes running 24 hours a day, around the clock.”
Mason was part of a large protest that was staged last week at an oil pipeline construction site in central Iowa’s Boone County. He says he’ll continue working against the project and organizing more opposition and peaceful demonstrations.
“Following our protest last week when 30 everyday folks from around the state, including myself, were arrested protesting the Bakken pipeline, we’ve been hearing from even more folks, hundreds and hundreds of phone calls, emails from supporters, folks who want to get involved in the fight,” Mason says.
Jessica Reznicek, of Des Moines, says she recently stood with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as they demonstrated against the project in North Dakota. Reznicek says she brought the tribe’s energy back to her home state and quickly put it to use.
“Our natural resources are the bottom line,” Reznicek says. “C’mon, we’re human beings and we’re made of water. We are water. Without water we have no life and we have no future. When you sit down and ask yourself what our world would look like without water, I don’t see anything, it’s just darkness.” Reznicek has formed a 24-7 encampment along River Road, north of Keokuk. It’s near the location where crews will bore beneath the Mississippi River to run the pipeline from southeast Iowa to western Illinois.
“I did make a barricade across the entrance, not allowing any trucks in or out and was pretty quickly arrested,” Reznicek says. “I stated to the officials that I came here in the spirit of love and compassion and respect and that I would go to jail for this. Personal sacrifice is definitely one component of what I’m willing to risk to save our water supplies.”
One of the groups organizing Saturday’s march and rally in southeast Iowa is called the Bakken Pipeline Resistance Coalition. Leaders say they’ll be massing at construction sites to “engage in acts of peaceful protection of the river.”
(By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton & Jason Parrott, Tri States Public Radio, Keokuk)