Trial date changed for Iowa climate activists
DES MOINES, IOWA — Polk County District Court officials have moved the trial date for the Climate Defenders Five (Todd Steichen, Martin Monroe, Miriam Kashia, Kathy Byrnes, and Ed Fallon). The trial had been scheduled for Thursday, September 5 at 2:00. The five are now scheduled to appear before a judge on Thursday, October 10 at 2:00 at the Polk County Justice Center, Courtroom #110, 222 5th Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309. At 1:30, defendants will hold a press conference outside the building.
Earlier this summer, President Trump visited Hy-Vee’s Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines for a GOP fundraiser. Thirty Bold Iowa supporters called out the president’s climate denial to the donors who came to support him. Protestors 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 supporters. At that point, they were arrested by West Des Moines police for simple misdemeanor trespass.
Bold Iowa feels that its action was justified because of the climate emergency. Participants felt called to act in the interest of present and future generations and the planet. Iowa scientists and the Iowa DNR have warned for years about the harm being done because of our dependence on fossil fuels. Earlier this year, the Iowa Supreme Court stated in its ruling in Puntenney vs the Iowa Utilities Board (the Dakota Access Pipeline case), “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. Since January of 2019, 268 Bold Iowans have bird-dogged presidential candidates on the climate crisis.