BOONE COUNTY – Protesters against the Bakken Pipeline actually went inside the pipes Thursday, to halt construction at a site near the Des Moines River.
Three people, who are part of a group called “Mississippi Stand,” have been arrested and are in the Boone County Jail.
“The water protectors obviously are protecting all of us and we’re trying to stop this is any which way we can,” said Ruby Montoya, a member of Mississippi Stand.
One way they protested Thursday was by actually crawling inside the pipes overnight.
“This is our first time as Mississippi Stand going into the pipe and it has been extremely successful,” Montoya said. “We’ve obviously stopped construction underneath the Des Moines for over 14 hours.”
Deputies with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office eventually used ropes to pull the protesters out, after more than 12 hours. They were put in handcuffs and removed from the scene.
Local protesters also came out to support the demonstration.
“This has the potential to dump one million tons of crude toxic oil in an hour, and if it dumps into this Des Moines river, Boone will not have drinking water,” said Boone resident Mark Edwards. “So I understand the importance of civil disobedience, and this is how you change the world.”
Some Iowans even gave the protesters food and water – things they were very thankful for.
“It definitely gives us a boost as we are here independently and many of us away from home,” Montoya said. “It’s definitely great to have that love and validation wherever you go.”
Bars have been welded onto the entrance of that pipeline, so that more people will not be able to get inside. The three protesters that were arrested are being charged with trespassing and interfering with officials acts. Bond is set at $1,000 for each of them.
Mississippi Stand says they will not be giving up their fight, and they plan on continuing their protests in Iowa in the coming weeks.