Wisconsin Iron Mine Security - Private Army Moves In
In northern Wisconsin, the folks are objecting to a massive iron-ore mine that a company named Gogebic Taconite. This is one of the more conspicuous examples of how the state is being sold off piecemeal to distant oligarchy by the administration of Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage its midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. At any rate, these folks have been startled over the last couple of weeks by the sudden appearance of mysterious men who are wandering the woods in camouflage, and flaunting automatic weapons. This naturally freaked a lot of people out, but the outrage was limited for a while to the people protesting the mine, and to the local Wisconsin progressive blogging community. There also was a bit of pooh-poohing from some people; it was even said that the whole thing might have been an overreaction to some paint-ballers.
Well, no. It’s a private army.
A company proposing a $1.5 billion open pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin is drawing fire for hiring heavily armed security guards to protect the project site. State Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and State Rep. Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) Monday called on Gogebic Taconite to immediately remove the “masked commando security unit” hired to protect the company’s property in the Penokee Hills in Ashland and Iron counties. Gogebic Taconite spokesman Bob Seitz told the Duluth News Tribune on Monday that the company hired the Arizona-based Bulletproof Securities Force after teams of mining opponents “dressed in black and wearing masks violently attacked our drill site” in June.
(It should be noted that the “evidence” for this violent attack comes solely from Gogebic employees and that even they put the damage at “almost” $2000, but the protestors did wear scary masks. Boo!)
Anyway, the rented gunmen are from an Arizona outfit called Bulletproof Security. (Once again, we go to Bogart from The Maltese Falcon: “The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”) Josh Marshall has some more about the company — and some wicked cool photographs — which seems to make a tidy profit from the paranoia of the nation’s plutocrats. If one did not know better, one might suggest that the governor of the state should get everybody in a room somewhere and defuse this craziness before someone gets iced out in the woods. But one does know better, and one also knows that the governor in question is busy at the moment nursing a very sore hindquarters, which got kicked by a federal judge on the topic of abortion just this very morning.
Head for the hills, Scotty! At least you know you’ll be safe there.