Nebi Bemetesiani (Water is Life) Rally
Pentacrest — Thursday, Sept. 22 at 5:30 p.m.
The Native American Student Association at the University of Iowa will host a rally against the Bakken Pipeline on the Pentacrest in Iowa City Thursday, Sept. 22. The rally, called Nebi Bemetesiani (Water is Life), will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Dawson Davenport, a member of the Meskwaki nation, is one of the student organizers of Thursday’s rally.
“The Meskwaki people have a strong relationship to the Mississippi River and we need to stop this from going on because it’s our duty to protect it,” Davenport said. “A lot of the people who are doing these direct actions, they don’t refer to themselves as protestors. They’re protectors. They’re water protectors, land protectors.”
The Meskwaki, the only federally-recognized tribe in Iowa, have come out in opposition to the pipeline. Davenport, who has made the trip to the Standing Rock protest site in North Dakota, stressed the peaceful nature of pipeline resistance.
He said he thinks the current protest movement will have an impact on younger generations.
“It’s definitely woken up a lot of young people,” he said. “That’s something powerful because these little children are going to see that and when they grow up they’re going to have that in their minds that we need to vote, we need to make our voices heard and vote for the person who’s going to be for us.”
Jessica Owens, another student organizer for the event, said that mainstream media has been slow to cover pipeline resistance, so her generation has been taking coverage into their own hands through social media.
“There are so many young people involved in this because it’s our future. It’s really amazing that we can bypass that sort of bias in a lot of media today and get our word out there,” she said.
Other upcoming Iowa events:
- Bakken Pipeline Resistance protest — Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., Boone County Fairgrounds
- Mississippi Stand protest — Saturday, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m., Montrose, Iowa
- Mosh for the Mississippi fundraiser — Friday, Sept. 30 at 4 p.m., Iowa City Public Space One.