Lawmaker asks mining company to remove armed guards - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Lawmaker asks mining company to remove armed guards

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Photo courtesy: Rob Ganson Photo courtesy: Rob Ganson
Photo courtesy: Rob Ganson Photo courtesy: Rob Ganson

Northern Wisconsin (WQOW) - A state senator is calling on a mining company to get rid of its armed guards.  Those guards were hired by Gogebic Taconite to protect the proposed mining site along the Iron-Ashland County line.

GTAC is in the process of drilling eight exploratory holes.  The company has been concerned about violent protesters after a recent incident.  Authorities say protesters slashed tires and damaged equipment.

Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) says the company has a right to protect their property, but called the decision to hire the security firm "nothing more than an effort to intimidate citizens."  Jauch added that "these kinds of security forces are common in third world counties but they don't belong in Northern Wisconsin."

A GTAC spokesman told WQOW News 18 they have to provide a safe work site for their people and have different layers of security.  The spokesman said the security firm has been very professional. 

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