annual Protect The Earth Gathering

grassroots people
Walk from Lake Superior to the Wisconsin State Capitol
A People's Sesquicentennial: May 29-June 27, 1998


Protect the Earth Journey completes 320 mi. walk from Lake Superior to WI Capitol
Photos of Protect The Earth Journey are coming in!

Walt Bresette, Anishinaabe peace and justice advocate, co-founder of Witness for Nonviolence, Midwest Treaty Network, Anishinaabe Niijii, Lake Superior Greens, Wisconsin Greens, and Protect The Earth, died February 21, 1999.

The annual Protect The Earth Gathering in on move -- literally. This year, instead of the usual single weekend of talks on mining in Wisconsin, Protect The Earth will be a month-long walk from the Red Cliff Chippewa Reservation on Lake Superior to the State Capitol in Madison. Called the Protect The Earth Journey, "it's the walk of a lifetime," say organizers.

The Journey begins on May 29th, the 150th anniversary of Wisconsin entering the Union. Interestingly, 150 years is also the equivalent of seven generations, a time frame used by indigenous peoples for consideration in decision-making.

This underlies one of the Journey's purposes: to garner support for a constitutional amendment to protect air, water, and other forms of common property. This Common Property proposal is also being called the "Seventh Generation Amendment." A special Sesquicentennial Legislative Session will be requested to endorse the proposal.

As in the past, the Protect The Earth will focus on the issues of mining, the scuttling of the state Public Intervenor Office by Governor Tommy Thompson, his politicizing of the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and other environmental issues. While it will celebrate the passage of the Mining Moratorium Bill, it will also continue to build strategies to rid Wisconsin of Rio Algom's proposed Crandon mine and other proposed metallic sulfide mines.

Each night, the Journey will rest in a new village, with a new campfire and Talking Circles. All will be asked if they feel that the Wisconsin Constitution and the State Government is doing okay after 150 years. Or, if not, all will be asked what should be done differently. These messages will be brought to the State Capitol.

As the Journey travels through different areas and districts, it will give focus to these issues. Weekend mini-rallies will have regional themes. Residents of each political district will seek out candidates-- to hear from and talk to.

Participants left Red Cliff on Statehood Day, May 29, and will arrive in Madison on Saturday, June 27. There are tentative plans for a 2 pm rally at the State Capitol. The southward route will be State Highway 13, to State Highways 12 to 78 to 14. For itinerary and updates during the walk, call WOJB Radio toll-free at 1-800-776-3689. They will have contact numbers, places where walkers are staying, and general arrival and departure times.

The Protect The Earth Journey is a collaboration of many people and groups. To be a supporter, contact Anishinaabe Niijii at (715) 766-2725. For volunteer support, contact Frank Koehn in Herbster at (715) 774-3333, or e-mail: For more information, call Walt Bresette at Red Cliff at (715) 779-5071.

The Seventh Generation Constitutional Amendment: The right of the people to use and enjoy air, water, sunlight, and other renewable resources determined by the legislature to be common property, shall not be impaired, nor shall such use impair their availability for future generations.

Tentative Intinerary of Protect The Earth Journey
(where participants will spend the evening and night): The first leg is on Highway 13.

May 29 - Washburn
May 30 - Ashland
May 31 - Mellen
June 1 - Glidden
June 2 - Park Falls
June 3 - Phillips
June 4 - Prentice
June 5 - Westboro
June 6 - Medford
June 7 - Community Meetings
June 8 - Abbotsford
June 9 - Spencer
June 10 - Marshfield
June 11 - Pittsville
June 12 - Wisconsin Rapids
June 13 -Community Meetings
June 14 - Community Meetings
June 15 - Rome
June 16 - Big Flats
June 17 - Friendship
June 18 - Highway 82
June 19 - Wisconsin Dells
June 20 - Community Meetings
June 21 - Meetings (Father's Day)
June 22 - Baraboo
June 23 - Merrimac
June 24 - Sauk Prairie
June 25 - Black Earth
June 26 - Middleton
June 27 - Madison

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