Bulletproof Security: Mining Company Hires Paramilitary Commandos to Guard Their Precious Equipment, and Wisconsin Is Unhappy

Abby Zimet

In response to protests against test drilling for a controversial proposed $1.5 billion open-pit iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin by Gogebic Taconite, the mining company has hired masked, camouflaged, assault-rifle-toting guards from a self-described, Arizona-based "no compromise" security force that boasts of "rigorous tactical firearms training" and "professional operators" who combine "logistics with tactical support" to "instinctively and smoothly manage surrounding threats."  Thanks to the mindless Rambo-ing up, the "surrounding threats" are now mostly the once-peaceable, now-pissed residents who, in a letter from Democratic legislators, blast the company's “confrontational and incendiary step that will clearly do more to intimidate local citizens and increase local tensions than it will to make you, your staff, or your equipment any safer.”

“Some of the local people are wondering what the heck? It’s come to a sad situation when you’ve got to have a machine gun to protect a business that people around here don’t want.” - Paul DeMain, editor of the News from Indian County.

Update: More on the Arizona businessman behind Bulletproof. Besides mercenaries-for-hire, he also deals in real estate and payday loans.

FRIENDS: Now More Than Ever

Independent journalism has become the last firewall against government and corporate lies. Yet, with frightening regularity, independent media sources are losing funding, closing down or being blacked out by Google and Facebook. Never before has independent media been more endangered. If you believe in Common Dreams, if you believe in people-powered independent media, please support us now and help us fight—with truths—against the lies that would smother our democracy. Please help keep Common Dreams alive and growing. Thank you. -- Craig Brown, Co-founder

Support Common DreamsSupport Common Dreams

Share This Article

More in: