DES MOINES, Iowa – While protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline come to a pause at Standing Rock in North Dakota, they are picking up speed here in Des Moines.
The “DAPL Day of Direct Action” took place in numerous cities across the Midwest Wednesday; activists in Des Moines organized small groups of protest at multiple locations across the Metro. The focus today was primarily on banks, like Wells Fargo, that protesters say are invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. While the portion of the pipeline that runs through Iowa is completed, protesters still hope investors will pull out, and cause oil running through the pipeline to never become reality.
“Our focus is on the banks that are invested in the pipeline,” said protester, Sumitra Redwing. “We’re hoping they would divest, but we are trying to bring the awareness to the forefront – there are a lot of employees that aren’t even aware of what’s going on, that their money is invested in this bank.”
Volunteers with the Des Moines Catholic Workers staged a sit-in at Governor Terry Branstad’s office this afternoon with the same message.
“We chose to come to the Governor’s Office because we want to talk to him as Catholics,” said activist Frank Cordaro. “I was here in 1997 when the governor was pushing the death penalty – that’s not Catholic, that’s bad.”