Keokuk, IA – At approximately noon a water protector, Cameron Kennedy, 27, of Minneapolis locked onto the drilling waste vehicle Dakota Access Pipeline has been using to transport drilling byproduct to an unlined earthen pit near the Des Moines River on Johnson Street Road in Keokuk, Iowa.
Samples from this earthen pit have been taken and are currently being tested to report levels of contamination allowed in an unlined earthen pit per standards of the EPA. This vehicle has been key in DAPL’s drilling underneath the Mississippi River here in Keokuk, Iowa.
“This truck is essential to the operation of the horizontal directional drilling occurring under the Mississippi. When the sludge tank is full, it must be transported and emptied before work continues,” Joe Byson of Colorado said today.
Kennedy locked onto the back frame of the truck. Initially, according to footage obtained, the driver of the truck refused to stop his vehicle. One arrest has been made of another supporter in the area. Yesterday, Krissanna Mara, another water protector, and Jenn Siege, an accredited member of the press were released from Lee County Sheriff’s custody. As of 1:30PM Kennedy is still reported to be locked on, hampering construction of DAPL.
This event continues to be a part of Mississippi Stand, a nonviolent direct action campaign in Keokuk, Iowa with aims to stop the drilling underneath the Mississippi. The camp, known as Mississippi Stand, has been in place since August 31st and was established in solidarity with Standing Rock, a Lakota camp challenging DAPL in North Dakota, and other Native American efforts to keep DAPL from destroying sacred and traditional lands. Workers are boring under the Mississippi river 24 hours a day. About 150 people have been arrested while peacefully protesting at the site to date. Public input was not allowed during planning for the pipeline route and permits were hastily granted without proper environmental studies. There are major community concerns around the safety of the project for the quality of the Missouri, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
“There is another way, we have the technology, we have the infrastructure, we cannot continue to destroy our resources so that a select few from big oil can profit. We invite others to take a stand and say “no more” to big oil.” Alex Cohen.
Tonight the community in Keokuk, Iowa plans to rally through downtown to inform the public and stand in solidarity with these water protectors across the country. Images available at https://www.facebook.com/MississippiStandCamp/