By Barbara With
Posted Feb. 26, 2013, on Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative
During a Feb. 25, 2013, press cbonference, a coalition of elected Wisconsin officials ask for state-wide support against the proposed SB1/AB1 Wisconsin mining bill, which the Wisconsin Senate is expected to take up today, Feb. 27.* (Photo © and courtesy Barbara With. Reprinted with permission.)
MADISON, WIS. -- On Monday, Feb. 25, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe called a press conference to demonstrate growing solidarity against SB1/AB1, the (Wisconsin) mining bill that would strip control away from local governments and exempt mining companies from having to abide by current air and water standards. Members of a coalition made up of area elected officials asked for state-wide support against a bill that will ultimately jeopardize all of the water in the state.
Ashland Mayor Bill Whalen summed up the group’s unified message: "This is not a Native Sovereign issue vs. the State of Wisconsin. This is a water and legislative issue that affects us all."
Bayfield Mayor Larry McDonald quoted the Lake Superior Binational Forum in expressing the intricate relationship of water to the area: "Water is life. The quality of water determines the quality of life. This is a world-wide issue."
Several members of other Wisconsin Tribal Nations spoke in support of Bad River and against the bill. Rose Soulier from Red Cliff shared the message she personally gave Governor Walker: "In November, at a Tribal quarterly meeting with the Governor, I asked that he consult with all Tribal Nations and not shove this mining bill down our throats." She added, "Well, that never happened. We’ve been choking back our tears ever since." Click here to read the rest of this article and learn more about this issue on the Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative Web site.
* Editor's Update: Barbara With concludes that the Wisconsin Senate is expected to take up the bill today, Feb. 27. If it passes out of the Senate, the Assembly is projecting a March 6 date to take a vote for final passage. She notes on Facebook that many communities in northern Wisconsin are opposed to this bill, written to facilitate the proposed Penokee open-pit mine. The Senate debate on the bill may be on live stream beginning at 11 a.m. TODAY, Feb. 27, at http://www.wiseye.org
See also this YouTube video of the "Iron Mine = Genocide" protest by Overpass Light Brigade, who present their message in front of the Capitol in Madison while Picture Rock Drum sings and snow flies.