Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 6028 The protest era: –1991 The affirmation of off-reservation treaty rights in the 1980’s triggered a hostile reaction from some members of the Wisconsin public. Based on ignorance, misunderstanding and in some instances, racism, this hostility took shape in local organizations which formed to protest, and hopefully stop, the off-reservation treaty harvests. With titles like Protect Americans Rights and Resources (PARR), Stop Treaty Abuse (STA), Wisconsin Alliance for Rights and Resources (WARR), these organizations and leaders rallied frequently in the mid-1980s, blaming the tribes and the “unequal” treaty rights for destroying nat- ural resources and damaging the economy. They essentially predicted doom for the sustainability of regional communities and drove fear into the hearts of citizens who left meetings worried that their businesses and property values were at risk. Protests at spearfishing landings swelled in 1987 through 1990, becoming violent in many cases and requiring additional law enforcement from metropolitan areas to be brought to the scene. Signs bearing racist and threatening mes- sages, such as “Spear a pregnant squaw, Save two walleye,” appeared at rallies and landing protests. People were arrested; tribal members were hit with rocks and called hateful names. The hatred and controversy spilled through into schools, forcing the Crandon School to shut down briefly, and even local churches became divided. While protestors, many of whom were moti- vated by racial animus, tried to deny the tribes their fishing rights through interference, harass- ment and criminal activities, the State of Wiscon- sin asked the federal court in 1989 to stop tribal spearfishing, a practice outlawed by state statute, so that tribal harvest activities would not overlap with opening day of the state sportfishing season for fear of violence on the lakes. Federal Judge Barbara Crabb appropriately responded: “As a matter of law, the fact that some are acting ille- gally and creating justified fears of violence, does not justify abridging the rights of those who have done nothing illegal or improper.” (Lac Courte Oreilles v. State of Wisconsin, Docket No. 1027, No. 74-C-313-C, (W.D.Wis. June 5, 1989). Tribal spearfishermen refused to be daunted by the threatening behavior and continued exer- cising their right to harvest, often under heavy guard. Mean- while, tribal biological and en- forcement staff monitored each and every landing, counting and measuring fish, collecting neces- sary data, and citing violations. Treaty support groups also began to form, providing wit- nesses on the landings and advo- Protest in Wisconsin often took an ugly twist at spearfishing landings with racism an obvious factor. “If this court holds that violent and lawless pro- tests can determine the rights of the residents of this state, what message will that send?” Federal Judge Barbara Crabb, (Lac Courte Oreilles v. State of Wisconsin, Docket No. 1027, No. 74-C-313-C, (W.D.Wis. June 5, 1989)