Protestors Trained, Then Vandalized Wausau DNR Office Over Iron Mine
*Editor’s Note- this is a developing story.
By Patrick Lynn
A Wausau DNR office was vandalized in May by a group protesting a Gogebic Taconite mine in northern Wisconsin, according to the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department.
Macliver News Service is reporting half a dozen protestors walked into the Wausau office on the afternoon of Monday, May 20. The protestors tried to push their way into non-public areas of the office while yelling obscenities. One employee locked herself in the her office.
According to emails obtained by Macliver through open records requests, at least one employee recognized some of the protesters as being from UW-Stevens Point.
Some of the protestors scaled the building and nailed a large banner reading, ‘Do Not Resuscitate Mining Bill’ to the roof. The extend of the damages was not made available.
Protesters had attended a “direct action” training camp in the Chequamegon Forest just three days before the protest in Wausau. The training camp was billed as a training workshop where attendees would learn “peaceful resistance techniques” in protesting Gogebic Taconite’s iron ore mine.
Gogebic Taconite has asked the DNR for permission to do exploratory drilling at the mine site, which is located in Ashland and Iron County. After the exploratory drilling, the company would need a permit to mine.
Ashland County Sheriff Mick Brennan says clashes near the drill site between workers and protestors have been ongoing, but he hopes to avoid making arrests.
No arrests or citations were made in the Wausau incident in May, as DNR officials did not file any official complaints with law enforcement.
A phone message left at the Wausau DNR office was not immediately returned.