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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Occupy signs

Occupiers begin campout near Iowa Capitol

By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 10.09.11 | 6:02 pm

DES MOINES — Iowans are beginning to camp out on the west side of the Capitol grounds as part of the Occupy Iowa movement, one of dozens of outcroppings of the Occupy Wall Street movement now being seen across the country.

The first general assembly of Occupy Iowa met Sunday afternoon in what’s being called “People’s Park,” a large green space to the west of the Capitol building.

Among other things, the group of several hundred decided to begin pitching tents in the area immediately. Several tents were already set up as the meeting began, and a number of attendees said now is the time to begin camping in order to continue the momentum building across the nation.

David Goodner, an organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, said the occupy movement means the same thing in Des Moines as it does in New York City or Iowa City.

“It’s a permanent campout in a public space where we democratically decide how to take back our lives from corporate power,” Goodner said.

He noted other groups across the country have not asked for permission to camp out, and suggested the movement is simply an exercise of rights protected under the First Amendment.

“They used people power to claim the space for themselves and there were no problems,” Goodner said.

The group also discussed holding demonstration on Saturday in downtown Des Moines; adopting the same belief proclamation as the Occupy Wall Street movement; and setting up legal, communications, sanitation, outreach, media and food committees.

Dave Mahnke of Des Moines said while the movement began in New York City, the occupy events here will be a true expression of Iowa. He’s a supporter of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, and thinks the movement will help the Texan’s presidential campaign.

“The best thing for this is to not politicize it,” Mahnke said. “It’s got to continue as a people thing. But there are public servants, not politicians, public servants who will serve you and agree with this and you have to take the time and responsibility to figure out who that is.”

Mahnke said if the occupy movement continues to utilize social networks to get its message out, the movement will “explode.” He also suggested getting farmers involved.

“I’m an old baby boomer, ’60′s, not radical,” Mahnke said. “I never thought in my life I’d see this again. It’s coming back.”

Ed Fallon, a former member of the Iowa House of Representatives, was encouraged by the number of people at the event.

“I’ve been organizing for years,” Fallon said. “I think this is one of the most significant turnouts I’ve seen. It’s really important we maintain momentum and it’s really important that we maintain focus.”

The first general assembly of the occupation is at 6 p.m. tonight. The park closes at 11 p.m., and Goodner sent an “emergency call to action” through the Iowa Peace List calling for “a critical mass of people…to help prevent repression by the state troopers.”

“It is my opinion that if we have a critical mass of 100 or more people down at the Capitol tonight the state troopers will back off,” Goodner wrote. “I am writing this e-mail to ask that every able-bodied person able to assist converge at the state Capitol tonight at 6 p.m. for a meeting and stay through midnight to help prevent police repression.”

Occupy events are also scheduled or are taking place in Fairfield, Mason City, Iowa City, Ames, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids and Omaha, Neb.

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