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Menominee Nation Condemns Violation of Peaceful Protesters Civil Rights.

>From: Alice McCombs <nomining@mail.wiscnet.net>>For Immediate Release								
>>July 8, 1997
>>For Wide Distribution
>>Menominee Nation Condemns Violation of Peaceful Protesters' Civil Rights
>>(Keshena, WI)  Upon hearing about the arrests yesterday of peaceful
>>demonstrators who participated in protesting Exxon's proposed Wolf River
>>mine in Crandon, Wisconsin, Apesanahkwat, Chairman of the Menominee Nation
>>stated, "Although I believe this is an isolated incident, I hope this is not
>>the calm before the storm."
>>   According to information received from Attorney Robert Lorge, Forest
>>County law enforcement officials arrested 30-60 people yesterday. Lorge
>>stated the charges of unlawful assembly by the protesters met only one of
>>the four required tests for the unlawful assembly charges to be correctly
>>applied (see enclosed statement by Lorge).
>>   The protesters were held on $250 bond, not released immediately as is the
>>normal legal procedure in non-violent charges. No magistrate was present so
>>those arrested could make an initial appearance/plea and be released. The
>>prisoners are being held in six county jails: Forest, Langlade, Lincoln,
>>Oneida, Wood, and Vilas Counties.
>>   Outraged by the apparent violation of the protesters' civil rights, Ken
>>Fish, Director of the Menominee Nation Treaty Rights & Mining Impacts office
>>stated, "Thanks to Exxon, are the days of Freedom of Speech and the Right to
>>Assemble over in Wisconsin? For five centuries Native Americans have been
>>looked upon as second-class citizens. Now, it looks like anyone who works
>>for peace or the environment is going to get the same treatment. Is Exxon's
>>money and power destroying democracy in Wisconsin?"
>>   Fish stated that given the poor and inadequate quality of data submitted
>>in the EIR by Exxon/Rio Algom's Crandon Mining Company to date, and the
>>review by Wisconsin's DNR, if a decision was made today regarding the
>>approval or disaproval of CMC's permit application, Exxon's proposed Wolf
>>River mine would be denied. "It is beyond a shadow of a doubt this mine
>>would be denied. Exxon's currrent permit application has been active for
>>three years. Originally the Final Environmental Impact Statement was due by
>>the end of this year. Now it's been extended until 1999."
>>   Fish is highly critical of a DNR he sees as being highly politicized and
>>is frustrated by continual delays in the permitting process due to Exxon's
>>inability to produce factual data proving the company can mine safely
>>without contaminating the Wolf River. "Secretary George Meyer and the DNR
>>are acting as cheerleaders for Exxon. Every delay they get means their
>>Department continues to get indirect funding from Exxon. Now because the
>>Master Hearing date has been pushed back to 1999, the state's Department of
>>Natural Resources can look forward to two more years of indirect funding
>>from Exxon."
>>   "Despite the fact that Exxon has been trying for twenty years to get
>>their mine permitted without producing any scientifically valid proof they
>>can do it safely, the DNR allows the permit process to go on," stated Fish.
>>"Enough is enough. As Secretary Meyer's direct supervisor, the Governor has
>>to intervene to stop this insanity. But will he, given the Governor's track
>>record which includes the appointment of a former Exxon lobbyist to be his
>>first Administrative Secretary, prior to the current Secretary Mark Bugher?
>>Will a Governor who came into office in 1987 pledging his support for
>>mining, and who supported the progressive weakening of Wisconsin's formerly
>>strong laws regulating mining, be willing to take effective action to
>>protect the Wolf River?"
>>   Menominee Chairman Apesanahkwat criticized the double standard applied by
>>officials to the demonstators, "Vernon Kincaid, the Mayor of Crandon was
>>quoted as criticizing yesterday's demonstration because the protesters were
>>from out of state. But Crandon Mining Company is a wholly owned subsidiary
>>of Exxon, which is from Texas, and Rio Algom which is a Canadian company. 
>>   "The people who were arrested in North Wisconsin yesterday came from
>>hundreds and thousands of miles to help the people of Wisconsin fight to
>>protect the Wolf River, an Outstanding Resource Water and the fifth most
>>endangered river in North America. Those people were arrested because they
>>were singing? What's next, tear gas and billy clubs for wearing the wrong
>>t-shirt?" Apesanahkwat asked.  "When law enforcement officials feel they
>>have the right to violate the U.S. and Wisconsin Constitutions in support of
>>multinational mining companies, things have just gone too far. It is time
>>that the people of the Menominee Nation and Wisconsin citizens are freed
>>from Exxon's siege on our environment and our civil rights."
>>					-- end --
>>>Date: Mon, 07 Jul 1997 23:01:22 -0500
>>>From: "Attorney Robert G. Lorge" <lorge@lawfirm.net>
>>>Organization: Lorge & Lorge Law Firm 608-244-0608
>>>Our telephone has been ringing off the hook today, as 30-60 estimated
>>arrests have been made and are being made
>>>up in North-Northeast Wisconsin's Forest County by peaceful protesters, who
>>were not given the opportunity to disperse by law enforcement agencies
>>ordering them to disperse what was a peaceful protest protected under the
>>Free Speech constitutional protections guaranteed under the First Amendment
>>of the United States, as well as Wisconsin State Constitutions. of the
>>United States, as well as Wisconsin State Constitutions.
>>>They were or are apparently being charged with unlawful assembly, in
>>violation of section 947.06 Wisconsin Statutes, which statute sections the
>>arresting law enforcement officials were not aware of, which led many
>>callers to question were the arrest orders were coming from.  This unlawful
>>assembly (s. 947.06) requires Four tests be proven:
>>>1st:  That there is reasonable belief that damage or injury to person or
>>property will be caused;
>>>2nd:   That the protesters are blocking or obstructing either
>>thouroughfares (roads/sidewalks etc) or exits and entrances to private or
>>public property; AND
>>>3rd:   That they were ordered to disperse, AND
>>>4th:    That they failed to disperse. As we have been informed, only the
>>third test (3) was met.
>>>       These peaceful demonstrators are in need of legal representation.
>>>They are being held on $250.00 bond, not being released immediately on a
>>personal signature bond, as is the normal legal procedure in non-violent
>>charges.  There has been no magistrate present to bring them before so that
>>they can make an initial appearance/plea and be released on signature bond.
>>Apparently Judge R. Kenndy Sr., or Court Commissioners Leon Stenz and Wayne
>>Vantassel were not available to process these citizens, and get them
>>released today, so that they could return home and to their normal week day
>>jobs tommorrow.
>>>The Forest County jail apparently only holds 15 prisoners, so more serious
>>criminals were released or removed or moved from the jail or make room for
>>these peaceful protestors.  In addition, they have been sent to five
>>surrounding county jails, by surrounding, you must realize that northern
>>Wisconsin is a big place, so these people are being carted around like war
>>refugees, and are being held overnight in county jails, including Langlade
>>County (Antigo), Forest County (Crandon), Lincoln County (Merrill near
>>Wausau), Oneida County (Rhinelander), and Wood County (Wisconsin Rapids).
>>They are there because they are rightly concerned that the Crandon
>>Mine/Exxon iron/zinc sulfide mine will pollute the wolf river basin, which
>>dumps into the Wisconsin River, Lake Winnebago, The Fox River, and into
>>Green bay and Lake Michigan, forever poisoning Wisconsin main fresh water
>>rivers and environment, because the now politcally appointed Department of
>>Natrual Resources DNR has given a green light to the mining plan.
>>>   These peaceful protestors, which includes republicans, democrats and
>>independent citizens from all over Wisconsin are supposed to be brought
>>before the Court at least by tommorrow morning.  They are being told by
>>various attorneys to plead not guilty and to request release under signature
>>bonds, rather than needing post a cash bond of $250.00.  It would be proper,
>>and constitutional admirable if the Forest County District Attorneys' office
>>used their inherent right of Prosecutorial Discretion and dismissed the
>>charges or refused to prosecute these political prisoners.
>>>Also, under Wisconsin's rules of Criminal and Civil Procedure, attorneys
>>interested in assisting these defendants tommorrow morning Tuesday, July 8,
>>1997 sometime between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m. ARE ALLOWED TO APPEAR
>>>ON THEIR BEHALF BY TELEPHONE pursuant to Secion 807.13 Wisconsin Statutes,
>>which does provide broad enough applicability for appearances by attorneys
>>at this stage of the proceeding by telephone, for oral
>>>arguements and conferences and the like.
>>>The Address of the Forest County Courthouse is:
>>>Honorable Robert A. Kennedy, Sr.
>>>Circuit Court Judge, Branch I, Presiding
>>>c/o Clerk of Circuit Courts
>>>TELEPHONE: 715-478-2329
>>>OR FAX:    715-478-2430
>>>Request more information on Ben Manski,
>>>Mark Olsen, Judy Gump, Susan Sierra, and any other persons
>>>who may be present.
>>>These peaceful protestors need your help, they are employed,
>>>Ask your local attorneys to help them out.
>>>Wisconsin's Environmental Decade wrote:
>>>> In case any of y'all were wondering why wisc-eco has been so slow
>>>> lately, we just got word here at the Environmental Decade from
>>>> Ben Manski that approximately 40 people from the Earth First!
>>>> rendevous were arrested today during some kind of folk-singing rally
>>>> in front of the Crandon Mining Company office, in Rhinelander or
>>>> Crandon.  Facts are scanty, but we understand that Ben is in the
>>>> Forest County Jail (so it was probably Crandon), and that the
>>>> Decade's Susan Franz was not among those arrested. Apparently the
>>>> arrests happened before anyone could chain themselves to anything.
>>>> You can contact Ben at the Forest County Jail.  This is all we know
>>>> at the Decade.  If we hear more of interest we will pass it on,
>>>> though no doubt it will be all over the news soon enough.
>>>> Alex Turner
>>>> --
>>>> Wisconsin's Environmental Decade
>>>> 122 State St., Suite 200, Madison, WI 53703
>>>> decade@itis.com, ph: 608-251-7020, FAX 608-251-1655
>>> http://execpc.com/~wsn
>>>TELEPHONE OR FAX: 608-244-0608
>>"I don't know how long
>> I'm going to be here
>>but when I'm gone
>> I want you people here
>>to take the fight and continue it
>>and to not give up
>>until Exxon is no more."
>>Hilary J. "Sparky" Waukau, Sr.
>>Menominee Nation Treaty Rights & Mining Impacts Office
>>P.O. Box 910
>>Keshena, WI  54135
>>Ph: 715-799-5620 / FAX: 715-799-5692
>>Email: nomining@mail.wiscnet.net
>>Email: treaty@mail.wiscnet.net
Environmental Assoc. for Great Lakes Education
394 Lake Ave. South, #308
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 726-1828
email: lakes@cp.duluth.mn.us
Debbie Ortman
Jan Conley