Wisconsin mining operation hires scary-looking masked guards to patrol woods [PHOTOS]

Categories: Weird Wisconsin
Jim Limbach
How would you like to encounter one of these dudes in the woods?
Gogebic Taconite has hired an armed squadron from "Bulletproof Securities" to guard its under-construction mining operation in northern Wisconsin's Iron and Ashland counties, and two state legislators are none too happy about it.

SEE ALSO: Wisconsin has the craziest gun law in America, according to ProPublica

On Monday, State Senator Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Representative Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, sent a letter to company president Bill Williams characterizing photos of masked, semi automatic-toting guards as "horrifying" and "appalling." One of the photos is visible at the top of this post.

Their letter asks Williams to immediately remove "the heavily armed masked commando security unit recently hired to protect the company's property in the Penokee Hills."

"These kinds of security forces are common in Third World countries but they don't belong in northern Wisconsin," Jauch and Bewley added in a press release.

Here's another photo taken by progressive Wisconsin blogger Jim Limbach (click to enlarge):


In an interview with the Duluth News Tribune, a Gogebic spokesman said the company felt compelled to employ guards from Bulletproof following a June incident where mining opponents "dressed in black and wearing masks violently attacked our drill site." But according to the Tribune, the only police record of an incident is a citation issued to a woman following an altercation over a camera.

"The project was pushed by Wisconsin Republicans as a way to create jobs in the region but is opposed by several Ojibwe and environmental groups and activists who say the project will damage the environment," the Tribune writes.

-- h/t: Gawker --

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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swmnguy topcommenter

Well, here we see another instance of the merger of state and corporate power.  A private corporation appears to be hiring mercenaries to guard their enterprise.  It's a modern twist on feudalism, or maybe not so modern considering the long history of corporate mercenary violence in America.  

And the story about masked, black-clad terrorists persecuting the miners?  Pics or it didn't happen.  If it did happen they should have called the police.  The corporate PR types are making up stories they think reactionary backwoods hicks will believe.

Actually though, that strategy is the most common excuse for corporate use of military power.  The top "Terrorist" threat in domestic security circles isn't Al Quaeda, or Jihadists, or Chechens, or Communists, or Revolutionaries, or Fascists, or gun nuts, or Tea Partiers, or drug cartels, or Crips, Bloods, or any other gang.  It's vegetarians and environmentalists.  That's either terrifying or very encouraging indeed.  Terrifying because it's so absurd it shows how much control over the process polluting industries and corporate food production has gained.  Very encouraging because since there is almost no threat at all from vegetarians and environmentalists, if this is true at all it shows how safe we really are.  And yes, I know you can find examples of Earth First and PETA-inspired property crimes.  Doesn't hold a candle to the average Tuesday night in South Chicago.

digitalprotocol topcommenter

Rupar!!!! you gotta put HICKS in the headline...so fitting

Nsa Washington
Nsa Washington

"Bloody Williamson" is a good read in regards to local/regional/state authority and private enterprise, both legal and otherwise.

Kris Freyer Hillmer
Kris Freyer Hillmer

So it's OK for the activists to wear masks, destroy property and threaten employees? Shouldn't be necessary to hire security, but their hands have been forced. Whether you agree with the mine or not, the mining company did not start this - activists, who by the way don't live in the area, did. They do have to protect their employees from those who are out to disrupt operations in any way possible.

digitalprotocol topcommenter

what losers these guys are!

wisconsin HICKS at it again

Eva Chavarria Hunter
Eva Chavarria Hunter

“These kinds of security forces are common in Third World countries but they don’t belong in northern Wisconsin,” Jauch and Bewley said in a press release. "Get used to it, boys. The economist Samuel Bowles has estimated that "guard labour" of one sort of another already accounts for a quarter of the U.S. workforce, and makes it very clear that economic inequality trends aren't exactly unrelated to this phenomenon."

mingtran topcommenter

You see the merger of state and corporate power when private companies hire armed security guards, butt you don't see the merger of state and corporate power under forced Obamacare....shut up you ignorant asshole.


@Kris Freyer Hillmer  - "...the only police record of an incident is a citation issued to a woman following an altercation over a camera." - I guess you missed this part. If "activists" have been wreaking havoc with the mining operations, why wasn't law enforcement involved at some point?

digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Kris Freyer Hillmer yes its OK, we support action not fear

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@mingtran Why does it make you so angry that people are getting healthcare.  Do you have a serious mental illness?   Obamacare can help with that.  

MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kennyX I would never read a paragraph of your lunatic nonsensical ravings.  A stupid racist troll like you has nothing to contribute to the conversation.  Shut up and go die alone kenny because no one reads your drivel.  You live a worthless stupid life that influences nothing.  

kennyX topcommenter

@MicheleBachmann Speaking of mental illness...oh look! It's MB!! I actually have missed you! Long time no chat. 

Actually, mingtran is not angry that people are getting healthcare, he is just pointing out the Liberal hypocrisy that it is evil for private corporations to merge with state power (in this case, in a Red state, and in this case, with security personnel who carry those "evil" guns to protect property), yet it is perfectly acceptable when a democrat (Oblamer) imposes state-and-corporate power to force a healthcare plan down American's throats (which most Americans are against), not to mention one that will fail miserably. 

But that's OK. You liberals LOVE paying taxes. In fact, since you love paying taxes so much, why not donate extra next tax year? If you get a refund, just send the check back to the IRS and give them a big thanks for all the hard work that they do. Better yet, why not just send Ziggy Wolf your entire paycheck so he can enjoy a luxury stadium for his winning team? After all, the Stadium will create millions of new jobs and pour in billions of dollars into the state. It's your Liberal duty. 

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