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Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin


Here’s a fascinating little story. There’s been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. The Republican legislature approved the mine in March over environmentalists’ objections. Some protests have been staged since the operation got started. But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when the company brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”

Now two state legislators are asking the company to withdraw the guards/paramilitaries. One of them, Bob Jauch, “said he was especially concerned that the guards are carrying high-powered rifles more appropriate for fighting wars than for guarding construction equipment in a scenic forest that draws scores of hikers and vacationers in addition to mine protesters.”

Now masked guards in camoflage carrying assault rifles do seem a bit more mid-80s Latin American death squad than protecting some mining equipment in Wisconsin. So I started looking into the security company behind the paramilitaries, an outfit called Bulletproof Securities out of Scottsdale, Arizona that Gogebic brought in for the job.

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it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Indian Country TV reporting....yup

This type of security is common in Canada where Native American communities protest a range of extraction and power generation projects. Seeing it here at this point isn't really a surprise although USA eco-activists have pretty much zero history of attacking personnel. They primarily attack equipment and buildings. Spiking trees might be dangerous to cut but their protocol is to mark spiked trees.

To find a firm hired out of Arizona is no surprise either. You can hire some pretty serious muscle out of Arizona. We got people coming from all over the world to get trained and hired out here.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

The Valley of Fear in 1870's Pennsylvania...

From an amazon review:

"Part 2 (of The Valley of Fear) is a fictionalized account of the labor wars that occurred in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania in the mid-1870s. The laborers had gone on a long strike for better conditions, it was lost by the miners. There had been violence during the strike. Afterwards the mine owners sought to ruthlessly oppress the coal miners by the use of secret agents. One infiltrated the miners' secret society and reported their doings. Some believe there were others who provoked violence and the revenge that followed. This secret society was called the "Mollie Maguires" although this phrase was never used by the miners themselves. About two dozen were hanged for their murders. In 1879 Pennsylvania declared a full pardon for Jack Kehoe, "the King of the Mollies", who was sentenced to death after a farce of a trial. The president of the Reading Railroad was the Prosecutor! Government was used as a tool of business. 1876 saw the worst depression known at that time."

What I love particularly about this book is how Watson and Holmes are written as secondary characters who only show up sporadically in a supporting role. It is also eery the feeling of being narrated to without one's usual familiar voice, that of Watson.


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