Milwaukee, WI - The Harley Davidson 110th Anniversary Celebration brought people to Milwaukee from all around the world. Included in that group were indigenous bikers from around the State of Wisconsin. Bikers representing the Menominee, Potawatomi, Oneida, Ojibwe, and Bad River rolled into the McKinley Marina and Lagoon parking lot, located on the scenic Milwaukee Lakefront to participate in an Overpass Light Brigade action in support of the Bad River Tribe.
Sarah Kalmanson (Ojibwe), Kenneth Fish (Menominee), and David Joe Bates (Bad River) were in Milwaukee to help message in support of the Bad River Tribe.
The Bad River Tribe has been besieged by the prospect of being forced to accept the placement of a massive iron ore mine in the heart of the tribe’s watershed and the pristine Penokee Hills of Northern Wisconsin. Scott Walker and his GOP controlled legislature have rammed through mining deregulation along with the legislative green light for the mine, despite overwhelming criticism from indigenous groups, surrounding communities, and concerned Wisconsinites from around the state. This attack on the tribe’s sovereignty and resources has united groups from around the state in support of the Bad River Tribe.
The first message the tribal members and their supporters held with the Milwaukee cityscape in the background was “UNITED WITH BAD RIVER”. Each tribe represented held an individual letter in this message of solidarity.
The first message held by Wisconsin tribal members and their supporters along the downtown Milwaukee Lake Michigan shoreline.
Another photo from the first message holding.
After about twenty minutes of holding the lighted message, the group reconfigured a new message before moving on to another location for a few photos with Lake Michigan behind them. Idle No More is a growing international movement that “Calls on all people to join in a peaceful revolution, to honour Indigenous sovereignty, and to protect the land and water” that originally grew out of the recent Canadian attack on indigenous groups in Canada.
The Holders of the Light change out their original message to form a new message.
This “IDLE NO MORE” message was first held on this walking bridge with the Milwaukee McKinley Marina behind.
The final location the group moved to with their new message was the Brady Street Walking Bridge that crossed over the busy Lake Drive, including thousands of Harley Davison bikers racing underneath.
The OLB marches their message out onto the Brady Street Walking Bridge and over a constant flow of Harley Davidson traffic.
The “IDLE NO MORE” lighted message is propped up for all passing motorists and passersby to see.
Just before the long holiday weeked began Scott Walker and his GOP allies put forth a new piece of mining deregulation that they admitted was written by the same Gogebic Taconite Mining Company lawyers that stand to directly benefit from it. This legislation will kick the public off of all public lands that are being even remotely considered for mining. Clearly, the GOP corporate puppets want to keep all eyes off of the extractors, but this kicks indigenous groups, sportsmen, hunters, hikers, campers, ALL of us off of public land – our land!
Poster created by the Overpass Light Brigade (Made with OLB and Michael Pecosky photos).
More photos from the action can be found here.