Tue May 21, 2013
Group Prepares To Fight Mine With Civil Disobedience
A group that says new iron ore legislation leaves them with no choice but to fight a mine with civil disobedience held a training session in Taylor County last weekend. About 70 people showed up.
They called it the “Central Wisconsin Action Camp.” It got the attention of the U.S. Forest Service and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Bruce Daniels says everything was fine at the event. He saw a group of dedicated people training in a torrential downpour.
“They were peaceful and a group of people out enjoying the northern Wisconsin weather and they did have a specific objective.”
The group did everything within the law. Thistle Peterson, with Madison Action for Mining Alternatives, cooked for 70 hungry campers.
“It was just a bunch of people hanging out, learning how to climb trees and being with each other in our solidarity and eating great food in the woods.”
They also learned to chain themselves to machines with a bicycle lock and how to tie knots. Peterson says people came from all over the state and the Twin Cities. Some of them are veterans of civil disobedience at the Crandon Mine protests of the 1990s or Republican National Convention in 2008.
“It’s people who are willing to put their bodies on the line to stop the mining company from going in on the land. So, whatever you want to call that. And to do it respectfully and without attacking anyone. We’re not a violent organization.”
Peterson says they expect to make a difference by stopping the mine. Gogebic Taconite has applied for an exploration permit which would mean moving drilling platforms into the Penokee Range as early as next month.