(ANTIMEDIA) Calhoun County, IA — Opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline has been making waves across the Internet recently as Native Americans, farmers, landowners, ranchers, and environmentalists make an epic stand against the project’s construction.
Over the weekend, 127 Native American activists, or water protectors, were arrested at the construction site near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Despite a prolonged corporate media blackout, the Dakota Access Pipeline has now been forced into the national political conversation.
But a lesser known issue — and perhaps the craziest story to date about the pipeline’s opposition — stems from the use of eminent domain to seize private property and hand it over to the pipeline builders, Dakota Access LLC.
You probably haven’t heard about this ongoing matter outside of Anti-Media’s coverage (or if you actually live near the pipeline route in Iowa), as the national media has decided it’s not newsworthy. However, there is a major fight taking place against eminent domain in Iowa following the state government’s decision to hand over land owned by farmers to Dakota Access LLC.
In one such case, Calhoun County farmer Cyndy Coppola was arrested last week for opposing the pipeline. But here’s the crazy part: she was protesting on her own farm! The state of Iowa decided Cyndy apparently didn’t know what was good for her own land, and against her and her family’s will, took their land and granted an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Heartbroken after watching the addition of pipeline construction equipment turn her land into an alien landscape, she could no longer hold back her emotion. “It was very frustrating, and when I first saw that topsoil piled up when they started digging, my first reaction was to cry, because we’ve tried everything,” she told local news affiliate KFYRTV.
After exhausting all legal options to stop the pipeline from using her land — and though a lawsuit brought by Iowa farmers is still in progress — she felt the need to physically stand in the way of the pipeline’s construction. For her actions, “Coppola and friend Ed Fallon were arrested after they attempted to block trucks carrying pipeline across her farm,”reports KFYRTV.
At the time of publishing this article, the ridiculous arrest of Cyndy Coppola has not been covered by the mainstream media.
To me, this story is particularly infuriating because it epitomizes what is wrong with America today. A strong-arm government stealing land from farmers to hand it over to a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline is something you would expect to see in a bad movie — not in a small farming town in Iowa. Is this what the United States has really become?
At a time when Americans’ frustration with collusion between government and corporations has reached a fever pitch, the Dakota Access Pipeline may just be the spark that ignites a broad coalition between Native Americans, farmers, landowners, activists, environmentalists, and many more against corruption and for justice and accountability.