Buffalo Rebellion Coalition Launches with Call for Climate Justice
By Katie Rock
The Iowa Beyond Coal campaign spent Earth Day hitting the streets demanding climate justice. We are proud to be members of the Buffalo Rebellion, a new coalition of Iowa organizations that are building a movement for climate action that centers racial and economic justice. We started meeting in November 2021 online. On the day we met in-person for the first time to plan our Earth Day events our plans were stalled when tornadoes tore across Iowa, devastating the town of Winterset.
The youth-led protest called on MidAmerican Energy to take immediate action to meet Des Moines City Council’s resolution for 100%, 24/7 carbon-free electricity by 2035. MidAmerican Energy – Iowa’s biggest carbon polluter – has publicly stated they’re planning to burn coal until 2049.
You can read and watch coverage of what happened at the protest here:
Des Moines Register, Rally at MidAmerican headquarters demands end to fossil fuels
KCCI Des Moines, A downtown Des Moines Earth Day rally became so much more
Des Moines Register, Photos: Climate Activists demand MidAmerican Energy close coal-fired power plants
KCAU-TV Sioux City, Iowans march against MidAmerican Energy
What an incredible way to spend Earth Day! Over the last six months it’s been inspiring to see a new generation of climate activists find their voice. They have been front and center this year at the Iowa capitol with monthly climate strikes led by Lillian Hill. Hannah Hayes from Des Moines Roosevelt gave a rousing speech (watch on Instagram here). And I couldn’t help but remember the Des Moines climate strike in fall 2019 where I met our campaign organizer Emma Colman, and Luca and Azul who two years later were leading our march and taking interviews from the press.
The rally was followed by two full days of training with activists from across Iowa. It always matters to show up. Stay tuned for more Buffalo Rebellion events to come, and sign up for our email list so you don’t miss the next one.
Buffalo Rebellion is led by the Great Plains Action Society, DSM Black Liberation Movement, Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, Sierra Club Beyond Coal, Cedar Rapids Sunrise Movement, SEIU Local 199, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI).