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Organizations Pay Iowa Protesters' Bail

Police in brown uniforms surround protesters as people take their photos.
Katarina Sostaric
Police arrested 17 protesters Wednesday, July 1 in Des Moines. Two organizations partnered to pay for all of their bail fees.

As protests for racial justice continue across Iowa, some protesters have been arrested and released on bail. A partnership project is helping some cover the cost of bail.

Just last week, 17 protesters in Des Moines were arrested and released on bail. They are just some of the 99 people whose bail has been covered by the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project in partnership with the Des Moines Mutual Aid Bail Fund.

The Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project initially paid bond for immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), but this year added protesters’ bail. Julia Zalenski, the legal director for the Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project, said this has always been the plan because protests go hand-in-hand with many immigration issues.

“The issues of pretrial detention and immigration detention are really closely connected," Zalenski said.

She said the biggest chunk of bail funds have been paid for protesters in Des Moines. She doesn’t expect the rate of arrested protesters to slow down any time soon.

Zalenski said the organization plans to help cover many more bail requests as protests continue.

“We’re gonna keep having their backs as long as we have to, but what this is really about is what they’re demanding and what they’re fighting for," she said.

The Eastern Iowa Community Bond Project offers pamphlets and information on its website for those protesting.