Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

For Immediate Release

 

MADISON—On Tuesday, February 26, activists will demonstrate outside the Wisconsin State Capitol against the proposed open-pit iron mine bill, AB/SB 1. The bill could be receive a vote in the Senate as early as Wednesday.
 
Starting at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, IdleNoMore Wisconsin and IdleNoMore Milwaukee will host a “Water is our Heritage” rally, all drums round dance, and speak-out on the State Street Capitol Steps.
 
A global peaceful movement, the mission of IdleNoMore “calls on all people to join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty, which protects the land and water.”
 
At 7 p.m., there will be a candlelight “Vigil for the Water” to oppose the bill, sponsored by Madison Action for Mining Alternatives. MAMA opposes the bill’s rollback of critical environmental protections and citizen input, as well as provisions that make taxpayers foot the bill for mine permitting and clean-up, to accommodate an out-of-state mining company.
 
All are invited to both events. Demonstrators will be standing in solidarity with communities that stand in harm’s way should the Penokee Mine be built.
 
On Monday, elected leaders in Tribal, County, City, and Town governments around the Chequamegon Bay area held a united press conference in Ashland to denounce the bill.
 
“This is not a Native sovereign issue versus the State of Wisconsin. This is water and legislative issue that affects us all,” said Ashland mayor Bill Whalen. “The environmental damage that is done will be in direct proportion to the quality of the legislation that is passed.”
 
“There have been no cost-benefit analysis that I can see of this entire mining bill. The bill does not provide economic or environmental protection of Lake Superior. We need economic development from the State of Wisconsin, not environmental destruction,” said Bayfield mayor Larry McDonald.
 
“Our community is coming together on this important issue, because pollution, mercury, not being able to drink the water, has no bias… we all drink the same water together,” said Red Cliff Tribal Council member Marvin DeFoe.
 
The press conference was recorded by Indian Country TV and can be watched here.
 
WHAT: IdleNoMore “Water Is Our Heritage” Round Dance and Speakout
WHEN: 4 p.m. Tuesday, February 26
WHERE: Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street Steps
CONTACT: Sarah Little Redfeather Kalmanson, (414) 455-6508, littleredfeather@mac.com
 
WHAT: “Vigil for the Water”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 26
WHERE: Corner of Mifflin & Carroll Streets, Capitol Square (Lady Forward)
CONTACT: Carl Sack, (608) 712-8335, carl@wnpj.org


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