Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice

"Save Our Water, No Unsafe Mines" Rally Saturday

MADISON--Hundreds of people from around the state will converge on the State Capitol at noon on Saturday, January 26 to voice their concern about the impacts of a proposed mine in the Penokee Hills and outrage over the introduction of Assembly/Senate Bill 1, the iron strip mining bill.

Protesters will demand that legislators reject the recently-introduced mining bill, Senate Bill 1, as well as Sen. Tim Cullen's bill and any other legislation that weakens environmental regulations and citizen participation in iron mine permitting. The protest will also call on legislators to respect Native American treaty rights and comply with the requests of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe not to allow a mining project that could jeopardize the natural resources they rely on for their culture and way of life.

The permitted rally will feature speakers including Cherie Pero of the Bad River Band of Ojibwe, Frank Koehn of the Mining Impact Coalition, and Marc Rosenthal of the Midwest Coalition Against Lethal Mining, and music from the Raging Grannies, Solidarity Singers and Forward Marching Band. Following the rally, there will be a 1 pm march to Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce to highlight the role they play in pushing the agenda of Gogebic Taconite and mining equipment manufacturers Caterpillar and Joy Global. In testimony during Wednesday's hearing on the mining bill, WMC spokesperson Scott Manley falsely claimed that the bill would not allow waste rock to impact water quality, when in fact the bill allows mining companies greater latitude to fill wetlands and navigable waters, allows consideration of sites for waste rock with a reasonable probability of polluting surface water, and doubles the size of the area in which mine waste can legally pollute groundwater. Mining proponents tout an optimistic number of potential mining jobs while failing to mention of the potential economic costs to farmers, tourism, the Bad River Band, and others that rely on clean water from the proposed mine site.

The rally and march are being organized by Madison Action for Mining Alternatives and have been endorsed by 21 organizations from around Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Following the protest, there will be a fundraiser for the Bad River Band held at the Wil-Mar Community Center from 6 pm to 1 am. The event will include dinner prepared by Madison Food Not Bombs, a silent auction, belly dancing, and local musical acts The Learning Curve, Thistle and Thorns, Beat Road Blues Band, and Tani Diakite and the Afro-Funk All Stars. Sixteen local businesses have contributed to the fundraiser.

WHAT: "Save Our Water, No Unsafe Mines" Rally and March

WHEN: Saturday, January 26, 2013; 12 pm rally, 1 pm march

WHERE: Wisconsin State Capitol, State Street Steps

CONTACT: Carl Sack, (608) 250-9240, carl@wnpj.org

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