Anti-protest bill aims to punish dissent

Anti-protest bill aims to punish dissent

Here’s another bill we have our eye on. Senate Study Bill 3062 — a Big Oil favor that says  a person who “sabotages” critical infrastructure could be charged with a Class B felony, punishable by no more than 25 years in prison, plus a $100,000 fine.

TAKE ACTION: Email your legislators today

 

Real quick – let’s first take our collective memory back to our #NoDAPL pipeline fight of 2015-2017…

It was one of the hottest organizing issues we’ve seen in Iowa in recent times. Thousands of Iowans – on both side of the political aisle – agreed that Iowa regulators were on the wrong side. And a powerful and inspiring movement grew across the country to stand up for water and Native American rights.

Here in Iowa, however, very few legislators stood with landowners or spoke out on this issue. Not even after private security used dogs to scare water protectors at Standing Rock. (This pipeline already had an oil spill in South Dakota, by the way).

BUT, now we see quick action to protect big oil’s investments.

Jeff Boeyink – a former Branstad chief-of-staff turned lobbyist for Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline – was the first to register support for this bill, if that tells you anything.

Besides being disgusted, we’re worried that this bill could open the door to punishing any forms of dissent.

  • Could peaceful protesting – like the massive demonstrations CCI members organized – be construed as “substantial interruption”?
  • Could a member be charged with a felony – losing our right to vote – for standing in front of a bulldozer?
  • Could CCI members be charged with a felony for standing up for the land, water and people they care so much about?

TAKE ACTION: Email your legislators today

To us, it looks like legislators are bending over backwards to support the interests and profits of a handful of giant corporations.

  • Why haven’t lawmakers passed legislation making it a felony for oil companies to pollute our water?
  • Why aren’t our lawmakers considering legislation to stop an out-of-state oil company from stealing Iowa farmland from family farmers?

Until we see those types of bold moves for people and planet, we organize. (Then, we organize some more!)

This is why we’re running our own people for office. We have to build independent political power. Politics and policy making should be the people’s business. Government is the prize. Right now it’s a trophy on the shelf of giant corporate America.

We can change that. We will change that. We will not be deterred. It’s a long haul fight, but THAT’s what we’re building power towards.

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