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WKOW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin, is reporting that Wisconsinites for Safe Mining, an organization that supports an open-pit iron ore mine in Wisconsin's Penokee Hills region, used Facebook to make death threats against four female anti-mining activists.

One of the four women threatened, Lisa Wells, alerted law enforcement about the matter:

A local woman is asking the Dane County Sheriff to investigate a pro-mining group for making a threat against her and three other women on Facebook last week.

In a July 10 Facebook post, The Wisconsin Reporter asked readers what they thought of Gogebic Taconite's decision to post armed guards outside of its northern Wisconsin iron mine site.

In one response, a Facebook user named Terry Dipper identifies Lisa Wells and three other women as making threats against the mine as justification for the guards.

In a post directly follow Dipper's, Wisconsinites For Safe Mining wrote:  "We have initiated a shoot on sight order for the malcontents that you have listed.  Trespassing on a mining site = genocide."

Two of the other three women who were threatened by the pro-mine group were identified as Roberta Retrum and Barbara With. The fourth woman was not identified in the WKOW report.

Just when I thought that things couldn't get any uglier in Wisconsin's Northwoods, the pro-mine supporters are now threatening to kill people who are opposed to the proposed mine. That kind of conduct is highly unacceptable, and whoever was operating the "Wisconsinites for Safe Mining" Facebook page at the time the death threat was made should have criminal charges filed against them.

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:44 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What is it about mining? (15+ / 0-)

    This, and the history of actions by coal companies, makes me wonder why violence is so common.

    "Trespassing on a mining site = genocide." Yeah, I always get those confused. After the Rwandan massacres, I said to myself, "gee, that was exactly like trespassing on a mine site". /snark

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 07:55:12 AM PDT

    •  I'm not completely opposed to mining (11+ / 0-)

      After all, I live in an old coal mining town in Central Illinois, but mining companies (whether it be coal, iron ore, or any other mineral) are some of the most vicious corporations out there.

      "It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something." -Russ Feingold

      by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:05:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody is really opposed to mining (6+ / 0-)

        The opposition is there because the Scott Walker/GOP Mining Law stripped out environmental regulations so out of state corporations can strip mine the hell out of our north woods, pollute the water, and decimate our state to enable them to make more profits.

        Mining is a long standing industry in Wisconsin, but until now it's been regulated.  No longer.  

        Donations to Scott Walker and the GOP are investments that are paid back with mega interest and this is how GT is getting its payday.

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 12:39:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Background on the slogan (3+ / 0-)

      They're targeting one of the women with that one (not Lisa, who while she opposes the mine isn't prominent in the opposition to it).

      The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe oppose the mine for a number of reasons, but ultimately because it will mean the death of their culture. The mine would destroy the headwaters of the Bad River, which feeds the sloughs where wild rice grows, which they harvest and treat as integral to their culture. Their chair has stated outright that if the iron mine goes through as planned, it will be cultural genocide for the Bad River Band.

      One of the women targeted by these creeps has taken this concept to heart. She has a sign on her car that says "Iron Mine = Genocide", and she also posts that slogan on Facebook every day. She lives in a heavily Republican area and gets a lot of harassment online and in real life. The scumbags are needling her specifically by saying that trespassing on a mining site is genocide; I imagine the dismissal of the concerns of a Native American band are just a nice extra topping for them.

  •  Diary title edited (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, TomP, Puddytat

    "It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something." -Russ Feingold

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:33:16 AM PDT

  •  These are the Knotzies. (16+ / 0-)

    The online names are familiar to us here. This isn't a new bunch - they've been known in the past as Knot my Wisconsin, Operation Burn Notice... our own cheerful little bunch of Wisconsin thugs that have been threatening and harassing people online since Scott Walker took over. They've threatened arson and rape against activists in the past.

    They're a bunch of cowards that hide behind their fake names.

    27 News exchanged Facebook messages with someone from Wisconsinites For Safe Mining on Monday about the comment, who insisted it was obvious satire.  They even sent a link to a Wikipedia entry explaining what satire is...

    The person from Wisconsinites For Safe Mining who exchanged messages with 27 News today, refused to identify themselves.

    Anonymous hacked them a couple of years ago, and claims to have evidence that State Sen. Alberta Darling, State Treasurer Kurt Schuller, and members of the Waukesha County GOP are connected to the leaders.

    They're not pro-mining as much as pro-Walker bullies. I'm hoping this is the final straw that gets them investigated by law enforcement...

    ... the Dane County Sheriff's Office told her they will assign an investigator to look into the matter, but 27 News has not been able to confirm that yet.
    Calling DA Ozanne...
    •  Yes indeed. (7+ / 0-)

      They are primarily social media bullies. Some of them are Knot in Wisconsin. Some time ago the Knotsies' membership was doxed. There might be info here on Kos about that. They were particularly aggressive during the recall. I would not be surprised if there were connections to elected officials.

      I wish Anonymous would dig a little deeper right about now.

      •  The danger is from others who follow them. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, Puddytat, GeoffT, badscience, kideni

        The Knotzies, "Wisconsinites for Safe Mining", whatever, I don't worry about them. They're a bunch of chickensh*t bullies, hiding behind their screen names and "oh, it's satire".

        I worry more about the Jared Loughners or John Spooners of the world, who might find their views justified and reinforced by these creeps.

        The one act of violence I've witnessed in our political upheaval - physical destruction of recall petitions - came from a man who was mentally incapacitated (no fault of his own). Thankfully our DA got him to plead down from felony election fraud to a misdemeanor.

        •  Oh yes, their followers are really scary. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Kahlow

          And they are scary too; I hope that the death threats are taken seriously. If they were threatening a government official, you know they would be.

          •  I've seen a couple of them up here. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badscience

            They look like they could beat me in 12-ounce curls and the 10-foot dash to the refrigerator for a sammich.

            I share your hope that they are investigated, outed, and given whatever punishment they can be under the law.

            •  I'm surprised they haven't been after me... (0+ / 0-)

              ...of course, I'm an Illinoisan that views Scott Walker as someone who would make Nixon and GWB seem like people with good intentions if he were to be elected President.

              If they show up here in Illinois and start trouble, I'll notify law enforcement if they do anything illegal.

              "It's not enough to be in the majority, you have to stand for something." -Russ Feingold

              by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 08:33:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  They feel safe now with Walker and his (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow

      Not So Merry Men in charge.  Safe enough to become more aggressive and extremist.  

      The nutbags have always been with us, but they usually hover in small groups listening to RW radio and talking to  each other about one faux outrage or another.  They're also people who vote against their own best interests because they've drunk the kool aid.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 12:42:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they're going with their interests. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        Without going into too much details because I don't trust everything I read on the internet, my sense is that most of the people involved are small town small business executives/owners/CEOs/grifters & lower level political operatives. People who don't like paying taxes or having gubmint tell them they have to pay their employees a living wage or treat them fairly.

        They may be the only people who benefit from Walker's policies besides the Kochs.

        (And from two years of looking over the filth they post, I think a good many of the men have... serious issues relating to women. They're misogynistic creeps.)

        •  Not sure about this particular group (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike Kahlow

          but similar folks who live in Waukesha County that I know.  They mouth the talking points, forward me all their horrid emails, and I repeatedly point out to their deaf ears how their votes and positions on issues are a kick in their own butts.

          These are the folks who applaud the Medicaid cuts when their own grannies are in nursing homes paid for by ... Medicaid.  The same folks who deride those "lazy black people" on food stamps without a fragmentary thought that most people on food stamps are working, on disability, or in the military PLUS white.  The same folks who complain about taxes and in the same breath whine about the tuition costs at UW which has been increasing because state support has been going steadily down.

          They're the same folks who bitch about abortion, but also don't support sex ed in schools, available and cheap birth control, free prenatal care and social services for women and children.  

          Yup.  They're nutty.  And they're not going to get wiser with our GOP loving media and pure propaganda sources.

          I love to tell them that they're "good Republicans" - smart enough to find their way to the voting booth, but dumb enough to vote for the people that continually screw them.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 03:10:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It is OK to shoot on sight in Sanford Florida (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NormAl1792, Puddytat, Calamity Jean

    these days, so why not Wisconsin?  After all, both states have radical Republican Governors.

    And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

    by MrJersey on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 09:37:29 AM PDT

  •  This is exactly what Snotty Walker wants (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, kideni

    He wants us to be fighting among ourselves so that we won't pay attention to the crap he's pulling on all of us.  He's very good at diverting attention from himself and his ALEC handlers...."divide and conquer" works again.  

    Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

    by isewquilts2 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 at 11:28:15 AM PDT

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