Lee County, IA – During two different direct actions on October 8th, water protectors blocked an access road leading to a Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) construction site where a horizontal directional drill is being used to bore under the Mississippi River.
Early in the afternoon, a crowd marched up the access road and sat in front of workers and law enforcement vehicles to block the road. Six people who had planned on being arrested in an act of civil disobedience were taken into custody.
Deputies from the Lee County Sheriff’s office also arrested several people from the crowd. They appeared to be randomly grabbing individuals and arresting them as they attempted to clear the access road.
We are aware of at least eight arrests but cannot confirm the final number at this time. Lee County Sheriff’s deputies and troopers from the Iowa State Patrol were observed using pain compliance techniques on people who had locked themselves together by their arms and sat down in the road.
After dispersing from the access road, the group moved to an area on the side of the road where they remained, cooking food and playing music.
Later that evening, around 7:30 p.m., a truck belonging to Michels corporation, a construction contractor building the Dakota Access Pipeline at this site and several others, was traveling down the same access road that the earlier arrests were on.
Several individuals ran in front of the truck, bringing it to a halt, allowing a woman named Jessica, a member of IWW GDC and the broader Black Lives Matter movement, to attach herself the bottom frame of the truck using a lock box device.
Lee County Sheriff’s deputies and EMS arrived on the scene approximately 20 minutes later. After about two hours, they were able to remove Jessica by dismantling the drive shaft to which the lock box was attached.
Before they extracted and arrested her, Lee County Sheriff’s deputies drove a cruiser between Jessica and the crowd, creating a visual barrier. After Jessica was extracted, the Michels truck continued to remain idle for about thirty minutes as workers reattached the drive shaft.
Unicorn Riot was live for the lockdown:
These two blockade actions came a day after direct action affinity groups breached DAPL’s security fence, allowing two people to lock down to the horizontal directional drill, stopping work for six hours. Six people were arrested during this event, including one Unicorn Riot journalist. Read about that action here.
Unicorn Riot will continue to regularly provide direct updates about resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Continue to follow our media on Twitter, Facebook, and our website for more information surrounding the ongoing struggles to protect the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
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To see Unicorn Riot’s coverage of the anti-Dakota Access Pipeline struggle, see below.
- 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 3-4 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
- In Iowa on October 7, 6 Arrested in Iowa #NoDAPL Action, Including Unicorn Riot Journalist
For our coverage earlier this spring of the Sacred Stone Camp, see May 27th report, “Dakota Access Pipeline Blockade Enters 2nd Month“; May 5th, “Sacred Stone Camp Resists Dakota Access Pipeline“; April 3rd, “Tribal Citizens Build Camp in Path of Oil Pipeline“; March 29th, “Tribal Citizens Prepare to Blockade Bakken Oil Pipeline“.