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Posted Wed Jul 17 2013: from Mother Jones:
Mining Company Deploys More Masked Militiamen Against "Eco-Terrorists"
Debate over a proposed open-pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin went from heated to outright bizarre last week when masked guards brandishing assault rifles showed up at the site in the remote and scenic wilderness of Penokee Hills. Local activist Rob Ganson, 56, first came upon three heavily armed guards while leading a small group on a hike to view the mining site. (The drilling site is on private land, but the owner has been given a tax break in exchange for keeping it open to public use.) The guards, said Ganson, carried semi-automatic guns, were dressed in camouflage, and wore masks covering their faces. "As you can imagine, it was quite a shock for five middle-aged people out for a walk," he said. Ganson tried to engage the guards, but was "met with stony-faced silence."... Gov. Scott Walker signed sweeping changes to the state's mining regulations into law in March, thus allowing the mine to move forward. The new law, which creates a separate set of laws for taconite mining, abbreviates the permitting process, reduces the number of opportunities for public comment, and weakens rules on dumping mine waste into wetlands and waterways.
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