Climate Activists’ Trial Again Delayed


Thursday, October 10, 2019, 7:00 p.m. CT
Contact: Miriam Kashia at (319) 459-1154 or [email protected]
Contact: Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or [email protected]

Prosecution requests delay for trial of five Iowa climate activists

Dressed in black and wearing adult diapers, Bold Iowa supporters were arrested at a GOP rally and fundraiser for President Trump on June 11, 2019, while holding a sign reading, “Climate Denier in the White House scare the S#*T outta you? IT DOES US!”

DES MOINES, IOWA — The Iowa Climate Defenders Five (Todd Steichen, Martin Monroe, Miriam Kashia, Kathy Byrnes, and Ed Fallon) appeared today with their attorney, Channing Dutton, before a judge only to have the trial rescheduled for November 12 at 1:00 at the Polk County Justice Center, 222 5th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50309. Before the trial, the five held a press conference outside the building (view livestream of that press conference here).

On June 11, 2019, President Trump visited Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines for a GOP rally and fundraiser. Thirty Bold Iowa supporters called out the president’s climate denial. Initially, protesters blocked one of the entrances to the facility’s parking lot. Later, five carrying a banner approached the building, hoping to enter and bring their urgent message to the attention of the president and his audience. At that point, they were arrested for simple misdemeanor trespass.

“Today was our fourth trial continuance,” said Miriam Kashia. “It’s disappointing to have to gear up once again for another court date on November 12, but I think it means we have them on the defensive. This trial needs to get the attention it deserves because — THE CLIMATE CRISIS IS AN EMERGENCY! Everything is at stake! Both the prosecutor and the judge commented that this is an ‘important’ trial. As Greta Thunberg said in Iowa City last Friday, ‘NEVER GIVE UP!’”

“We risked arrest because it’s urgent that we capture the attention of politicians, the press, and the public in this unprecedented moment where saving human life and the planet is on the line,” said Bold Iowa director Ed Fallon. “We wanted to emphasize to those gathered at the event that climate change threatens our very survival, and a president who denies the problem — whose policies in fact greatly exacerbate the threat — must be called out and challenged.”

On a lighter note, Martin Monroe quipped, “Maybe the prosecution got scared off by a bunch of adults in diapers.”

Because of the worsening climate emergency, the Iowa Climate Defenders Five feel called to act in the interest of present and future generations and the planet. Similar cases across the country have seen judges responding more sympathetically to the climate necessity defense.

The urgency of climate change is also shared by Iowa scientists in the Iowa Climate Statement and in a report by the Iowa DNR. Both warn about the harm being done because of our dependence on fossil fuels.

Furthermore, earlier this year, the Iowa Supreme Court stated in its ruling in Puntenney vs the Iowa Utilities Board (the Dakota Access Pipeline case), page 37, “We recognize that a serious and warranted concern about climate change underlies some of the opposition to the Dakota Access pipeline.”

Bold Iowa’s mission is to build rural-urban coalitions to (1) fight climate change, (2) prevent the abuse of eminent domain, (3) protect Iowa’s soil, air, and water, (4) defend the rights of farmers, landowners, and Indigenous communities, and (5) promote non-industrial renewable energy.