FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2016
Bold Iowa Calls on Dakota Access to Terminate Employee Who Sexually Harassed Native Water Protector and Daughter
Dakota Access worker heard asking, “How much for the little girl?” out of his pickup truck window during Bold Iowa direct action on Oct. 15
Des Moines — Bold Iowa strongly condemns the sexual solicitation made by a Dakota Access employee against a peaceful female Water Protector and her daughter during our nonviolent direct action on Oct. 15 to stop construction of the pipeline, and call on the company to see that the employee is immediately terminated.
Video of the sexual solicitation by a Dakota Access employee of a woman and her daughter during Bold Iowa’s Oct. 15 action may be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/NowThisNews/videos/1197616650328457/
The Dakota Access employee was driving a silver Ford pickup truck with Texas license plates when he shouted at the woman and her daughter, “How much for the little girl?”
The Dakota Access employee violated Iowa Code on Harassment XVI, Subtitle I, Chapter 708.7 and Prostitution CVI, Subtitle I, Chapter 705.1 — yet local law enforcement and Iowa State Patrol present on site did not allow the victim to file an affidavit, and refused to otherwise file a report or document the incident.
“We were told that the Calhoun County District Attorney would not prosecute our case,” said Marisa Cummings, who along with her daughter was the target of the solicitation by the Dakota Access employee.
“When one asks to purchase a woman of color near a pipeline site, you evoke a feeling of threat and intimidation,” said Marisa Cummings. “Native American women are found missing and murdered throughout the oil fields of America and Canada. We are more likely to be raped by a non-Native male than any other racial group. Human trafficking and rape is a reality for our women. We want the man who attempted to intimidate and harass us held accountable for his actions and the cooperation of law enforcement and the county attorney,” added Cummings.
“We had 50 pipeline fighters at Saturday’s direct action,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “The day started with nonviolence training, and all our participants were meticulously respectful and courteous toward law enforcement officers and pipeline workers. For that pipeline worker to say what he did to Marisa and her daughter is unconscionable. Someone who demeans two women peacefully protesting like that needs to be fired.”
Bold Iowa sees this incident as indicative of what has already been documented at “mancamps” set up by pipeline companies to house construction and oilfield workers — increased violence, drugs, and human trafficking.
To date, more than 2,500 people have signed the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance, which is supported by Bold Iowa, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, CREDO Action, and 100 Grannies for a Livable Future.
(View the Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance: http://boldiowa.com/sign-the-bakken-pipeline-pledge-of-resistance/)
On Aug. 31, 30 people were arrested during a Bakken Pledge of Resistance direct action to stop pipeline construction in Boone County.
On Sept. 10, 19 people were arrested at a Bakken Pledge direct action in Boone County.
On Sept. 22, more than 175 people participated in a “Midwest Mobilization” action that stopped construction on the pipeline in Boone County.
On Oct. 15, landowner Cyndy Coppola and Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon were arrested on Cyndy’s own property, which lies inside the pipeline route.
Bold Iowa Action Teams (BATs) have also participated in smaller, decentralized direct actions to stop construction on the pipeline at various locations over the past few weeks — including on Sept. 21 in Webster County, and at other sites in Boone County and near Farrar, in Polk County.
Between Bakken Pipeline Pledge of Resistance actions, and the nonviolent actions that have been organized by allies at the “Mississippi Stand” encampment in southeast Iowa, to date close to 170 arrests of Pipeline Fighters have been made in Iowa while standing up to stop Dakota Access.
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