Jul 29, 2013

Corruption Fuels Mining Company's Moves in Northern Wisconsin

When the multibillion-dollar mining corporation with a record of poisoning the environment came into Wisconsin and announced it intended to dig and operate a 20-mile, open pit iron-ore mine in the Penokee Hills of Northern Wisconsin under the authority of state legislation the mining company drafted, opposition arose quickly.

Gogebic Taconite, one cog in the huge private mining conglomerate, Cline Resource and Development Group, determined they wanted the iron-ore extracted in what would be the largest mine in Wisconsin's history, and the Republican Party decided they wanted the $15 million they received from the mining concerns.

What the people of Wisconsin want is of no concern.

What environmentalists and Native Americans wish specifically similarly is of no apparent concern, as now Iron County (Wisconsin) officials are threatening to evict, arrest and prosecute the Lac Courte Oreilles band which has set up a Harvest and Education camp near the mining site.

The Bad River Band soon will set a similar camp.

Iron County is the least populated county in Wisconsin, isolated in the north woods; and its district attorney, one Martin Lipske, is known for being corrupt, incompetent and provincial. A lot like the Republican Party.

Worse, Lipske is suspected of deceitfully pursuing and obtaining the conviction in 1997 of an innocent man, Don Miller, now serving a 42-year sentence for a crime that he apparently did not commit, though Lipske has been shown to have been made aware of exculpatory evidence.

Small town justice in the deep north woods in a county selling out the environment and taking away the life blood of an innocent man.

Lipske refuses comment on all matters now, and in recent weeks has gone silent on the mining operation as his history has hit Wisconsin political blogs.

Now, Lipske pursues his effort on behalf of Gogebic Taconite to charge a 26-year-old woman protester, Katie M. Kloth, 26, of Stevens Point, with robbery with force, misdemeanor theft, and two counts of criminal damage to property.

Her crime?

Kloth yelled at Gogebic Taconite personnel and allegedly stole a cell phone some weeks back.

Lipske has amble experience in throwing people in prison for years without cause. But the spotlight is beginning to shine on Lipske now, illuminating a corrupt and cowardly man ... hiding.

This will change, and I predict here Lipske will meet justice for his crimes.

As for the environment under threat by Gogebic Taconite and supported by Iron County officials and the Republican Party, public consciousness of the planet we inhabit has a way of exploding.

"No one should be surprised by what this mining company is doing. So many people in this country have been raised without an environmental ethic. It's hard for them to develop a sense of the earth as an organism when you live in an artificial setting and away from what's natural," said Becky Gawboy, a Native American environmental and education activist living in rural northeastern Minnesota. "Corporations like this mining outfit are simply the culmination of a culture that is obsessed with material things like TVs, isolated and alienated from the living world. Of course they can't make healthy decisions about the environment because they don't see themselves as part of it. They wish to devour it. Really, corporation are evil entities and as corporations have evolved they have become the center of darkness, a rapacious, destructive force."

Iron County, Wisconsin is not Lowndes County, Alabama—a notorious, racist county 1,100 miles almost due south from Hurley, Wisconsin.

But small-town injustice and corruption join Iron County and Lowndes County.

Iron County features an epic case study in corruption and a huge corporation v. families and the environment; the fate of this clash is directly dependent on how many good men and women remain silent.

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