Bad River Chairman Rejects Tactics Used by Protesters in Video and GTAC Security

logoIn a statement to Wisconsin Public Radio,  chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Mike Wiggins Jr. says he’s against the tactics used by the anti-mine protesters in a June 11 action.

Members of an unidentified group attacked workers at an exploratory drilling site June 11, the day Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) began drilling the first of eight bore holes. One person from the raid has been charged with four criminal counts of theft and damage to property.

Bad River Tribal Chairman Mike Wiggins says the video is not what they’re about. Their strategy is non-violent opposition. For example, the tribe is participating in the GLIFWC 2013 Healing Circle Run/Walk, from July 13-19, 2013. The run/walk will connect eight Ojibwe reservations in northern Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. He explains Bad River’s approach:

For a nation to heal, it must begin with the individual. As a person heals, then that person can help heal his/her family. As a family begins to heal, they can help heal their community. As communities heal, they can help the nation heal. As nations heal, they can help Akii (the earth), our plant and animal relatives to heal. The 2013 Healing Circle Run/Walk is an opportunity for people to come together to pray for healing for themselves, their families, their communities, their nation, Akii, and our relatives.

Wiggins thinks this entire week has traumatized the region, climaxing with GTAC bringing in an unlicensed security force illegally carrying assault rifles in the hills outside of LCO Harvest Camp.

“The semi-automatic assault weapons … was a public relations ploy to try and label the good people of Wisconsin and the others who are peacefully resisting as violent people,” says Wiggins. “It’s a shame, it’s really a shame and no one’s buying it.”

United in Defense of the Water stands with the Bad River Band in denouncing the tactics of the protesters in the video and GTAC, and once against makes a strong commitment to working cooperatively to empower our neighbors in peace and non-violence, and affect change through education that will unite and inspire all people to take action to protect the water.

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