From Penokee Defenders:
A new anti-mining project has been started in Wisconsin called “Penokee Defenders.” The goal of this project is to disseminate information and analysis pertaining to the struggle against the proposed Penokee Hills Iron Mine and gather the much needed material and community support for all comrades facing charges in this fight to protect the earth.
Katie Kloth, aka “Krow”, is an anarchist, artist, forager, sustainable farmer, and biologist who has been committed to struggles to protect the environment and liberate all life for many years, and has spent the last several years organizing against the proposed Penokee mine. On June 11th, 2013, she was cited by the Iron County Sherriff for theft due to her alleged involvement in a protest earlier that day that disrupted bore hole drilling on the Penokee Range. According to media reports, while barricades were erected on the access road, a hydraulic lift for the drilling equipment was damaged, tires were slashed, equipment was pitched into the woods and a camera and phone belonging to a Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) employee was taken by a protester (the camera was actually found in the woods later). It is reported that several Police SUV’s entering the mining site bottomed out over the barricades and generally rough terrain, requiring the services of the tow truck to get their vehicles out. The Iron County Sheriffs Department alleged that Krow was responsible for the theft of the camera, but because it was considered such a minor crime, she was neither booked nor processed, or even detained that day.
On June 21st, it was announced that the Iron County District Attorney increased the charges to robbery with use of force (a class E felony), two counts of criminal damage to property and one charge of theft of movable property (<=$2500). It is apparent that the prosecutor gave into outside political pressure and that the charges were amped up. The state legislature and powerful mining corporations seek to make an example out of anyone who dares to step out of line. Her court date is July 8th, 10:30AM and it is likely that she will be required to post bail. Please consider donating to the bail fund available on the page and if you can, PACK THE COURT in her support.
As one prisoner support group states: ‘When those in power are challenged, they inevitably turn to violent repression and imprisonment to maintain their interests. In order to avoid defeat, movements must become organized and capable of combating the repression of the state apparatus, and they must be able to support their comrades and allies in the event that they are arrested or imprisoned. Few would commit themselves to a movement that would leave them behind prison walls, or a movement that is incapable of sustaining itself in the face of state intimidation.’
We must support Krow and all those that suffer from state repression for protecting the water! ‘No mine’ means supporting those that defend the land! The WePay page for the bail/legal fund can be found here.
“Those who fight against the destruction of the water, land, plants, and human and non-human animals of the Penokee Hills and Bad River Watershed are not ‘terrorists.’ The only terrorists are those who plot to blow up the hills with ammonium nitrate and use the power of the state’s policing apparatus to repress and send fear and division through the communities that oppose them. Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) and Chris Cline have millions of dollars and the support of the state to destroy the Penokees.
“In these struggles, the police are never ‘on our side,’ because they are NOT employed to enforce what is “moral” or “right” by a utilitarian standard, the are only employed to enforce the law. The law is determined by those who have enough money to buy the legislature. The police protect the people with the most money and if individual officers decide otherwise, they will likely lose their job. Because they are “just doing their job” we must understand that they will always be here to protect GTAC, not us.
“With the help of the media, GTAC is trying to tear apart the movement of those who want to save the Hills and protect the water, but we must strive to stay united, keep criticisms of tactics internal to “the movement” and keep the wider focus on those that want to destroy the precious water, not those that are fighting to defend it. We must support each other, hold G-TAC accountable for their egregious acts against our mother Earth. Earth is our home and we must act to defend it. Regardless of the diversity of tactics that will be used, we need to show solidarity with all who strive to stop the Penokee mine, and focus on just that, stopping the Penokee mine.”