Boone County, IA – While tensions in North Dakota build as the Oceti Sakowin camp defies state orders to evacuate, Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction is still incomplete in Iowa and pipeline opponents are continuing to cause delays. For months the group Mississippi Stand has been staging direct actions against DAPL in Iowa. On November 10, water protectors from Mississippi Stand shut down construction by crawling inside a section of pipe and refusing to leave, and #NoDAPL direct actions in Iowa have continued in recent days and weeks.
Precision Pipeline, LLC, contracted to carry out DAPL boring operations under the Des Moines River in Iowa, has reportedly failed at least twice to bore correctly under the river, requiring them to restart operations multiple times, providing water protectors additional opportunities to halt work.
In the early morning hours of November 20, a group of water protectors converged on the drill site and locked themselves to machinery, forcing DAPL to eventually stop drilling operations for several hours.
That same day, two water protectors, Jessica Reznicek and Travis O’Brennan began a fast outside the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), demanding that IUB take immediate action to revoke DAPL permits in Iowa.
“Mississippi Stand Water Protectors start a fast in front of the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) in Des Moines, Iowa, after attending last week’s public board meeting by the IUB. At the meeting, Dakota Access LLC. gave an inaccurate account of the current status of pipeline construction. Public comments were made by many landowners and other Iowans giving evidence of Dakota Access construction violations. The public called for the IUB to follow legal procedure and order Dakota Access to stop construction but the IUB failed to act.
Water Protectors are responding to these illegal activities of the privately owned Dakota Access and the lack of accountability from the Utilities Board by fasting until the Iowa Utilities Board acts in accordance with its own laws and regulations to cease construction based on investigation of violations from the out of state company Dakota Access.” – Mississippi Stand statement, November 20
On November 29, as the fast outside IUB was still underway, a group of approximately 25 breached a security perimeter of the site where DAPL is using a horizontal directional drill to bore under the Des Moines River. Video posted by Mississippi Stand shows a group of masked individuals climbing a fence, running onto the site, with some of them being tackled by security and then wrestling themselves free. Two people locked themselves to an excavator while the rest of the group continued running across the site and escaped into the woods.
“Security wasn’t able to contain things, and two protesters hooked themselves onto an excavator with this device,” Sgt. Cole Hoffman of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office told local news, adding that law enforcement had been called to the area around the drill site “as many as 50 times” in the past few months. Both water protectors who locked themselves to the excavator were eventually extracted and charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, and interference with an official act.
The next day, on November 30, the two water protectors who had been fasting for ten days outside the Iowa Utilities Board were arrested after entering IUB offices and demanding a meeting with board members to address construction violations committed by Dakota Access.
On Thursday, December 1st, water protectors received word that the DAPL drill site on the Des Moines river had reached the “pullback” phase, which involves extracting mud and other underground byproducts generated in the drilling process. Mississippi Stand responded to this news by setting up a new camp in the ditch right outside the Des Moines drill site, with the intention of continuing to hold direct actions to stop DAPL from completing pipeline construction under the river.
“We are in Boone County, Iowa at the Des Moines river side where Dakota Access has been boring under the Des Moines river. Mississippi Stand has fought Dakota Access down in Keokuk at the Mississippi River, then we fought Dakota Access at the Skunk river, and now we’re here making our last stand in Iowa…everything here at this site indicates that pullback is about to happen today at this site, which is the last thing in this process…we have started an occupation in the ditch.” – Alex Cohen, Mississippi Stand
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Below is Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the [#NoDAPL] anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle from early summer 2016 to present:
March – May 2016
- March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.
- April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“.
- May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“.
- May 27th, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“.
- After covering the camp in the spring of 2016, Unicorn Riot returned to Standing Rock Reservation on Wednesday, August 10th, when Standing Rock tribal members and allies blocked the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site.
- On Thursday, August 11th, a dozen or so people were arrested blocking the construction site entrances.
- Day 3, Friday, the fight to protect land & water intensified around the construction sites of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- On the 4th day, the pipeline resistance encampment swelled and prepared for more action.
- Monday, August 15th, land defenders stormed the construction site halting construction, and the next day construction was halted as well.
- August 17th saw State Police begin checkpoints, roadblocks, and psyops as protesters united to defend water.
- August 24th, camps prepared as Federal injunction hearing looms.
- Camps Organize to Stay as Injunction Postponed.
- On August 31st, Non-Violent Direct Action Stopped DAPL Construction for Over 6 Hours.
- September 6, indigenous water protectors swarmed Dakota Access Pipeline site, stopped work
- September 7, Uŋpa Nuŋpa was interviewed about ongoing #noDAPL actions
- North Dakota highway patrol refused to release email correspondence with Energy Transfer Partners
- September 8, ND National Guard took over Dakota Access Pipeline checkpoints
- Friday, September 9, US Govt. overruled federal judge and requested pipeline construction halted at Lake Oahe
- Meanwhile, cultural activities continued at #NoDAPL camps despite more arrests/warrants
- September 13, 20 were arrested during #NoDAPL lockdown, including 2 Unicorn Riot journalists
- September 14, direct actions continued against Dakota Access Pipeline while legal repression intensified
- On September 16 a federal judge dissolved the unconstitutional temporary restraining order Dakota Access, LLC had filed against Stranding Rock tribal members
- September 19, as solidarity protests spread nationwide, the federal appeals court ordered construction temporarily stop on Dakota Access segment as Solidarity Protests Spread Nationwide
- September 21, #NoDAPL noise demo demanded freedom for jailed water protector Olowan Martinez
- September 22, water protectors disrupted the annual meeting of the North Dakota Petroleum Council
- September 25, water protectors planted trees on DAPL construction site
- In Iowa on September 26, a non-violent direct action from the Mississippi Stand camp stopped DAPL construction for the day
- September 26, a caravan of water protectors stopped work at DAPL site
- September 27, militarized police arrested 23 water protectors in DAPL work stoppage
- September 29, a #NoDAPL solidarity action took place at MN Enbridge office
- October 3rd-4th saw the “Toxic Tour,” Governor debate disruption, and water protectors attend their court arraignment
- October 4, we learned North Dakota Governor Dalrymple’s email inbox was full of support for #NoDAPL
- October 5, Buffer Zone Holds as Caravans Continue to Disrupt DAPL – New Felony Charges
- October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 8, Iowa Water Protectors Blockade DAPL Drill Site Twice in 24 Hours
- October 9, Federal Appeals Court Rules to Allow DAPL Construction
- October 10, 27 Arrests After Water Protectors Pray at DAPL Site on Indigenous People’s Day
- October 12, Lockdown Stops DAPL Construction in Iowa, 3 Arrested, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 14, Emails Show North Dakota Budget Bureaucracy Behind #NoDAPL Policing
- October 16, Direct Actions Continue to Stop DAPL Construction in Iowa and North Dakota
- October 17, Four Unicorn Riot Journalists Face Charges For Covering #NoDAPL
- October 17, Water Protectors Blockade Highway in Bismarck, Some Charges Dropped
- October 20, As DAPL Construction Advances, Water Protectors Continue Direct Action
- October 22, Water Protectors’ Prayer Walk Ends up with 127 Arrests, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
- October 23, Law Enforcement Attack Private Drone as Water Protectors Erect Blockade & New Winter Camp
- October 24, Mississippi Stand Blockades Iowa DAPL Drill Waste Site, Drilling Stops
- October 25, Records Release: Morton County’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Assistance Agreement
- Hundreds Flood Minneapolis City Hall to Demand Local Sheriff Withdraw from North Dakota
- October 26, Tensions Rise as Pipeline Construction Nears #NoDAPL Blockade
- October 27, Police and Military Attack Oceti Sakowin Treaty Camp
- November 1, #NoDAPL Solidarity Rally & Sit-In in Minneapolis Prods Sheriff into Removing Deputies
- November 1, DAPL Resistance Continues Despite Advancing Construction
- November 2, Police Attack Water Protectors Defending Sacred Sites
- November 5, DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
- November 6, Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery
- November 8, Dakota Access Announces Plan to Drill Under Missouri River Within Weeks
- November 11, Dakota Access Pipeline Work Stopped As Water Protectors Storm Site; 30+ Arrested
- November 14, #NoDAPL Water Protectors March on ND State Capitol after Caravan Disrupts Construction
- November 14, Mississippi Stand Goes Inside Pipeline and Shuts Down DAPL Construction
- November 14, Army Corps Delays DAPL Easement
- November 15, “No More Stolen Sisters” Demonstration Blockades DAPL Man Camp; 25+ Arrests
- November 16, Despite Army Corps Statement, DAPL Moves Horizontal Drill to Missouri River Crossing
- November 17, Demonstration in Bismarck-Mandan, Cass County Deputies Beat Man Bloody
- November 20, Police Attack Unarmed Water Protectors w/ Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas, and Water Cannons; 300+ injured
- November 21, Land Defense & Water Protection Actions Ripple Across Turtle Island
- November 22, Hundreds Target U.S. Army Corps Building in St. Paul w #NoDAPL Message
- November 22, Anonymous DDOS Munitions Vendor After Sheriffs Attack #NoDAPL
- November 22, #NoDAPL Water Protector Faces Possible Loss Of Her Arm After Police Attack
- November 24, Water Protectors Bridge onto Turtle Island; Mandan Thanksgiving Street Feast
- November 25, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Announces Intent to Close Oceti Sakowin #NoDAPL Camp
- November 29, Excessive Force Lawsuit Filed Against Morton County Sheriff for November 20 Bridge Assault