On election night in 2016, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya set fire to a bulldozer and construction equipment at a Dakota Access Pipeline construction site in Iowa. Over the next few months, the activists used oxy-acetylene torches to melt holes in pipeline valves at three other locations in the state. It was at the height of the Indigenous-led protests against the 1,172-mile-long pipeline, which opponents like the Standing Rock Sioux tribe argued would pollute local water sources and contaminate soil. When Reznicek and Montoya’s actions failed to halt pipeline construction, they held a press conference and publicly took responsibility for their actions.
The two women were subsequently indicted on nine felony counts of intentionally damaging energy infrastructure, and Reznicek ultimately pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility. She was sentenced to eight years in prison by a district court in Iowa last year.
Reznicek is now appealing her sentence. Before an Iowa appellate court last week, her attorneys argued that the district court had inappropriately decided that her actions constituted a federal crime of terrorism... Read more