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LDF protesters' fire extinguished under police supervision

By Nick Vander Puy with assistance from Vin Des
Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin (SBN/NFIC)

A lodge and fire set up by Lac du Flambeau tribal members to protest the current administration and demand accountability was torn down and bulldozed the evening of May 2nd, as proponents and opponents jeered and cheered nearby. The area of the lodge was secured by police officers during late afternoon, yellow crime scene tape was then placed around the scene and around 6pm a front end loader driven by a tribal member extinguished the fire.

Some 50 law enforcement officers from eight different counties converged on the LDF Ojibwe Reservation to allow tribal police to enforce a resolution passed by the LDF tribal council on April 28th against the protesters lodge and fire based on alleged health and safety violations. According to Mark Collins, responding to this news report by email, the sheriffs responsibility from other counties was simply to "maintain peace and order" between groups.

On April 28th the LDF tribal council passed a resolution to remove the structure because of health and safety reasons and complaints of use of alcohol and loud drumming. Protesters denied that alcohol was being used at the site.

Tribal members have questioned expenditures and borrowing efforts of the tribal council in recent months as they sought to cover some 50 million dollars in debt for investments in a river boat casino in Natchez, Mississippi, a floating casino ship that is drydocked in Florida and a technology company in Texas that has allegedly not provided accounting of investment equity.

LDF tribal council members are attempting to have Congress pass a piece of legislation that would encumber the reservation land base against the loan in case of default on payment, and have in the meantime pledged the entire casino revenue stream against the bond according to tribal members familiar with the issue. The legislation effecting the tribe's land seems to have brought the issue to a head. The bill number is HR 5680 and was first introduced by Sixth District Wisconsin Congressman Steve Kagen.

View video of fire being extinguished.

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