Domestic Terrorists?

                                      Who are the actual domestic terrorists?


            Ruby Montoya has joined her fellow Des Moines Catholic Worker member, Jess Reznicek, in prison for civil disobedience/plowshares acts against a pipeline and some machines. The U.S. government labeled these two women domestic terrorists, and they were given six and eight years for damaging machines and a pipeline.

            Terror, and terrorism, are terms addressing what happens to humans, not machines. Terrorism is ascribed to acts by governments against their people to keep them cowed and in line with what that government is doing. Terror and terrorism are also ascribed to acts against the government by people who wish to change that government. Jess and Ruby were attacking a pipeline and machines trying to save the waters of Iowa, and the climate of the planet, because they didn’t see the government trying to save Iowa’s waters, or the climate of the earth. No one was injured. No one was terrorized.

            Meanwhile in Iowa this summer, we see stories of what industrial agriculture is doing to people, not machines, in Iowa. Drift of ag chemicals is harming people’s gardens and money making crops. Manure pollution from confinements and feedlots makes people’s water and air are risky to drink and breathe. After 10 years of the voluntary Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, Iowa’s waters and soils are more polluted than they were.

            The brain eating amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, recently killed a person who swam in an Iowa state park. That amoeba’s food is algae, which grows in our waters because of all the nutrient pollution running off crop fields.

            The Iowa Legislature has made it illegal to regulate air pollution coming out of hog confinements, leaving the public with no way to protect themselves from the diseases and deaths from hydrogen-sulfide, ammonia, particulates, antibiotic resistant organisms and many other harmful toxins. Hog confinements also release the climate-harming gas methane.

            Because the Iowa Department of Agriculture and the DNR’s budgets have been cut so drastically, officials say they don’t have the personnel to timely investigate these issues, even though Iowa has a $2 billion dollar surplus. People are left with gardens destroyed and businesses that depend on growing products suffer losses they sometimes can’t replace. So many pollinators are killed by ag chemicals that plants in your garden may not have fruit because they have not been pollinated. These are a human being’s food and income. Humans are not machines.

            Neonicotinoids (pollinator deaths) and PFAS (“forever” chemicals) are both used in industrial agriculture. They have now been found higher up in the food chain in deer. There are “don’t eat advisories” for some organs of deer. Are those neonicotinoids and PFAS in us now? Should we be worried about the deer and fish and other animals that many of us eat? Why isn’t the government doing more about these issues?

            Recently Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a three year deal with Taiwan, which agreed to buy $2.6 billion worth of corn and soybeans. It guarantees this industrial agricultural onslaught on Iowans’ health, ability to eat and earn a living, and environment will continue.

            Who are the actual domestic terrorists?

Bob Watson