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Bad River Tribe opposes mine and the use of violence or vandalism against GTAC

ASHLAND, Wis. (WSAU-Wheeler News) -- One of the main opponents of the Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine is urging protestors to cut out the violence.

Mike Wiggins heads the Bad River Indian tribe in Ashland County, which fears water pollution at its location just downstream from the mine.

In a statement Friday, Wiggins said the tribe quote, “condemns any planned or improvised act of violence or vandalism” against the mining firm. This comes about a month after protestors vandalized company equipment and stole an employee’s cell phone at an exploratory drilling site.

Gogebic Taconite responded by hiring a military-style security firm, which was temporarily removed after it was learned that the firm did not have a state license.

Video of the disturbance was put on You-Tube, and several Wisconsin TV stations showed it this week, and other media outlets offered it on their website.  

Wiggins says the tribe remains strongly against the mine – but it will only condone non-violent civil resistance when needed. 

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