Climate Justice Unity March: Day 5

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 – Sully to Reasnor (10 miles) We scramble out of our tents early today for the ride to Des Moines for Donnielle Wanatee’s trial. She was arrested for trespass at Governor Branstad’s office during the February 22 Day of Action Against DAPL. Donnielle pled “not guilty” and asked for a jury trial. The judge denied her request. Nevertheless, she persists. It’s a miserable morning. The wind and rain make it impossible for our cook, Chap Myers, to keep the stove lit. Continue reading →

Climate Justice Unity March: Day 4

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 – Searsboro to Sully (8.5 miles) As I pack up my tent this morning, Sarah informs me that she woke with a pit in her stomach, an odd sense of foreboding. She’s spoken with Shelley Buffalo and Fernando Manakaja as well, and they also have the same sense of unease — an intuition that someone or something may try to harm us today. I take their intuition seriously. Our marching column is tight, and we walk two-by-two on the gravel shoulder Continue reading →

Climate Justice Unity March: Day 3

Monday, April 24, 2017 – Montezuma to Searsboro (9.5 miles) Searsboro is one of those small, forgotten Iowa towns bypassed by the main highway. It’s a sprawling community of 142 people, built on hillocks tucked away in a valley along English Creek. I’ve driven by Searsboro dozens of times, wondering what it was like but never bothering to stop. From the highway you see only a few of Searsboro’s houses. Today, as our march winds its final mile over and around several steep, rolling hills, Continue reading →

Climate Justice Unity March: Day 2

Sunday, April 23, 2017 – Deep River to Montezuma (10 miles) As we circle up this morning and prepare to leave Deep River, a man driving an ATV pulls up. He introduces himself as Darrin Ehret — the guy next door who put up the Confederate flag yesterday. He was surprised at how quiet and respectful we were last night, and that inspired him to come over. Based on the things he’d heard on Facebook, he was expecting all kinds of noise and bad behavior. Continue reading →

Climate Justice Unity March: Day 1

Saturday, April 22, 2017 – Little Creek Camp to Deep River (12.8 miles) Today saw three notable “firsts,” none of them good. Our troupe of 25-30 marchers were flipped off three times by passing drivers. I’ve walked 700 miles along Iowa’s highways and gravel roads and never had someone do that to me. Also today, as we were taking a break on a gravel road, I walked a short distance across a field to talk with a young farmer who was watching us. I introduced myself, explained Continue reading →

Toilet paper provided; bring your own towel

Q: What’s more challenging than marching ten miles a day for eight days? A: Organizing the logistics to make such a march possible. Seriously. Shari Hrdina, Sarah Spain and I have done this before, organizing the coast-to-coast Great March for Climate Action in 2014. Did we learn our lesson? Apparently not. Here we are again, organizing the Climate Justice Unity March reminded on a daily basis just how complex are the logistics of a march of 25 people. One example: Check out these pictures of our Enviro-Commode/Solar Continue reading →

Iowa Climate Justice Unity March: April 22-29

The People’s Climate Movement is gaining momentum for what should be a landmark day of action on April 29, marking the 100th day of the Trump Presidency. The major event is in Washington, DC, billed as “a march for climate, justice and jobs,” but there also will be hundreds of related marches in cities across the U.S. and around the globe. People’s Climate Movement Rally: April 29 in Des Moines In Iowa, the People’s Climate Movement will rally at the Iowa State Capitol at 1:00 Continue reading →

Native Nations Rise! Rally in Des Moines March 10

The sad news is that oil may soon flow through the Dakota Access pipeline. But there are several silver linings in that dark, oil-soaked cloud. First, the lawsuit filed by Iowa landowners against the abuse of eminent domain is on its way to the Iowa Supreme Court. In a recent Radio Iowa story, the attorney for the plaintiffs, Bill Hanigan, said “if eminent domain was improper, then all of the condemnation easements are invalid. If the condemnation easements are invalid, then that pipeline and all of Continue reading →

DAPL Contractor Reaches Out

Recently, Heather Pearson was contacted by a former DAPL contractor, who said to her: “I have the highest respect for what you and others are doing to protect the environment. Truth be told, I really had no idea about the concerns involving the pipeline, or knew much about it at all. Boy, was I in for a shock! “Regarding Dakota Access, I’ve never had a position working for such a morally bankrupt entity. I struggled with it everyday. You always hear about corruption in large Continue reading →

Day of Direct Action Against DAPL

Dear Friends, As we claw our way through the gut-punch gauntlet of President Trump’s funhouse, it’s easy to want to just quit, give up, “crawl into solitude” as one dismayed friend told me this week. Don’t! That’s just what Trump wants. In David Frum’s excellent article for The Atlantic, “How to Build an Autocracy,” he writes: “Trump and his team count on one thing above all others: public indifference. . . . What happens in the next four years will depend heavily on whether Trump is right or wrong Continue reading →