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      Two arrested at Kennecott mine site

      Thursday, May 27, 2010, 6:00 p.m.

      Kennecott's Eagle Mine Project is well under way. Fields have been cleared, fences have been constructed, but protests by opponents of the mine continue. Thursday morning, police arrested two protestors who refused to leave the property.

      "Kennecott asked the parties to leave officially at 9 a.m.. They were given a half-an-hour to depart the premise. At 9:30, we entered the picture, along with Kennecott again, asked them to leave. They refused to leave, and we then arrested two of the group for trespassing," explains Michigan State Police Sergeant, Robert Pernaski.

      According to Save the Wild UP, the two that were arrested are Charlotte Loonsfoot and Chris Chosa, both of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

      Kennecott first asked the protestors - who have been camping at the base of Eagle Rock since April - to leave on Tuesday, then again Wednesday. A few left. Four stuck around.

      "This morning, I visited with those who were in the camp - there were just a few - asked them, in order for us to comply with Federal and state law, to leave the area. For those who did not wish to, it was required by us to call law enforcement, and now it becomes a legal matter that will be decided in the court system," says Matt Johnson, Manager of Government and Community Relations for Kennecott.

      The protestors are sticking with their original argument: it's still state land, and they have just as much of a right to be there as Kennecott does.

      "We continue to say that this is not a legal lease. EPA has still not ruled on this. The folks out here were very justifiably camping here, exercising their rights to be on public state land, and they were kicked off in the most rude way," says Kristi Mills of Save the Wild UP. "Hundreds of people that have been out here visiting has been such a heart-warming, supportive effort to really make a state out here and say 'no' to Kennecott."

      Kennecott says it's willing to let the protestors camp out and continue protesting on adjacent property that's also controlled by Kennecott. The company says that safety is its utmost priority, and work could not safely continue until the campers were off the property.

      "I gave up everything to protect the water. Everybody needs water," said a sobbing Charlotte Loonsfoot later Thursday afternoon at a rally outside the Post Office in Marquette.

      About 25 people showed up at that rally to show their opposition to the mine and their support for those who were arrested for trespassing.


      Thursday, May 27, 2010, 2:11 p.m.

      TV6 and Fox UP have learned that on Tuesday and Wednesday, Kennecott requested that the group of campers, who have been protesting the mine, leave the property.

      A third verbal request and a written request was given to the four campers that remained Thursday morning. At that point, law enforcement was called to the scene.

      Two of the campers left the property peacefully. The other two were arrested.

      Kennecott asserts that the safety of all parties is its utmost priority and the reason the camp members needed to leave the property.

      Brad Soroka will have the full story tonight on your FOX UP News.


      Thursday, May 27, 2010, 11:23 a.m.

      Officials say two protestors of the Eagle Mine have been arrested Thursday morning as Kennecott constructs a fence around the new mine site.

      According to Save the Wild UP, the two people arrested are Charlotte Loonsfoot and Chris Chosa. Save the Wild UP also says that 20 cop cars came and surrounded the protestors Thursday morning.

      Contractors are finishing building a fence around the new mine site, while Native Americans who have been protesting the mine construct their own fence in an attempt to save the Eagle Rock area.


      Public access to Eagle Rock and an encampment at the Kennecott mine site is being fenced off Thursday morning.

      A large police presence is standing by at the Kennecott mine site in Northern Marquette County in case there's any trouble with those still camped at Eagle Rock.

      Contractors are finishing work on the fence surrounding the Eagle Mine project.

      In April, a peaceful stand by people against the mine project began their Eagle Rock encampment.

      So far, there are no reports of any issues between police and those against the mine.

      TV6 and Fox UP has a reporter on the scene and we'll have more information as it becomes available, right here on


      Kennecott has nearly completed building a fence around the perimeter of the new Eagle Mine site.

      According to Save the Wild UP, the Native Americans, who have been protesting the mine, are also constructing a fence to help protect the Eagle Rock area.

      Click here to see a map of the area .

      Check back with Upper Michigan's Source as we will be updating this story.