Governor and Tribal Leader Condemn Violence at Proposed Mine Site
Governor Walker wants people who disrupt mine testing in northern Wisconsin, "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." Walker issued the statement, following the release of a video showing people with their faces covered, harassing workers at a Gogebic Taconite work site in the Penokee Hills.
The company is testing the rock there, in hopes of someday extracting iron ore. Environmentalists and tribal members oppose the creation of a huge open, pit mine, fearing it would cause irreparable harm to the land and water.
Earlier this week, demonstrators released photos of guards the company hired to patrol the property. They were dressed in camouflage and carried high-powered rifles. Gogebic Taconite has since removed the force, because it was not licensed to operate in Wisconsin.
In addition to the governor commenting Friday on tensions at the site, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa condemned any plans or acts of "violence or vandalism against the mining company."
However, Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins, Jr. says members still strongly oppose a mine and urge nonviolent opposition.