DES MOINES, Iowa – Protesters showed up at the Iowa Utilities Board offices Wednesday morning to speak out against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The protest began with just two people at the downtown Des Moines officers of the IUB but grew to around 16 by 10:00 a.m. One woman, Jessica Reznicek, was arrested after she blocked a conference room door and another man took her place following the arrest.
“It’s not safe to be out here in the fasting in the cold, and I don’t want to do it, you know, but like, we’ve got to do this,” said Reznicek’s counterpart, Travis O’Brennan. “All of our survival depends on shutting down this pipeline. And we’re not talking about just the survival of Iowans and our clean drinking water – we’re talking about the survival of, of life on this planet.”
They are hoping to stop work on the pipeline in Iowa because a break in the pipeline would poison the soil and water. They are also showing solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, who say the pipeline is being built on sacred burial sites.
Reznicek and O’Brennan have been fasting for 10 days and plan to continue the fast until they are granted a meeting with the Iowa Utility Board members. Others showed up Wednesday to stand in solidarity with the two fasters.
“I’m a firm believer in direct action, and think that’s the only thing that’s going to stop the pipeline,” said Alex Cohen. “So, we still have an encampment down in the Boone area, running a direct action campaign, shutting down the construction. So, I’m ready to put, you know, my body in front of construction equipment where there is active construction, and then provide moral support across the state of Iowa.”