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Gogebic Taconite Protesters Cross Into Restricted Zone

Updated: 02/16/2014 10:49 PM
Created: 02/16/2014 7:30 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

A peaceful protest about a controversial mine in northwestern Wisconsin had people fighting for what they called their family. Mining opponents emphasized they're protecting mother nature.

"We're here in defense of the water, and the land, and the air," Christopher LaForge, with South Shore Area North Guard, said.

"I'm a water activist and a person who loves Lake Superior," protester Amy Wilson said. "It really ends up all being about the water."

The protest took place in a restricted area outside the mine site Sunday. About 50 people gathered to protest the new law.

"Supposedly, it's illegal to come within 600 feet of mining operations," LaForge said. "This is an unenforceable law. This law is written and is being attempted to be foisted on the public in a way that is totally unacceptable."

While their stance is clear, other people in town said the project means money.

"I think they should go through with it," Jason Vitek said. "We could use some good-paying jobs around here. I don't think the DNR will let it happened if they are going to pollute anything."

"Yes, they are creating a couple jobs for a handful of people, but they also have the potential of devastating the environment," Paul DeMain, with Harvest Education Learning Project, said.

Governor Scott Walker signed a law back in December allowing 600-foot restricted zones around the proposed site. It's meant to prevent protesters from harassing mine workers.

(Copyright 2014 WDIO-TV, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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