Talking Points Memo on a mining company’s quelling protests using a paramilitary force rented from a real estate mogul:
There’s been a battle royale in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. Protests have been staged since the operation got started.
But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when Gogebic brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”
I started looking into the security company behind the paramilitaries, an outfit called Bulletproof Securities out of Scottsdale.
The Bulletproof website lists all sorts of security/paramilitary type services. They even have their own ‘border security force’, which is something I thought the federal government took care of.
Bulletproof can also provide “a QRF (quick reaction force) tactical unit to secure a manufacturing plant during a heated worker strike.” The company’s website provides an extremely wide range of services and suggests it has a huge amount of equipment to provide Quick Reaction Force services “in ALL conditions.”
Anyway, if you look around the site, Bulletproof clearly has a pretty big arsenal and a reasonably sized paramilitary at the ready to help you. So I thought I’d look Bulletproof owner Tom Parrella. And here’s where things took an even more interesting turn. Parrella isn’t just in the private security/paramilitary business. He’s also owns a major real estate agency in Scottsdale.
In fact, they’re run out of the same office on Gelding Drive. So if you’re looking for a new McMansion in the Scottsdale area and also need paramilitary [forces] they’ve got you covered. I had never realized there were synergies between residential real estate and paramilitary services.
Now two state legislators are asking the company to withdraw the guards/paramilitaries. One of them, Bob Jauch, “said he was especially concerned that the guards are carrying high-powered rifles more appropriate for fighting wars than for guarding construction equipment in a scenic forest that draws scores of hikers and vacationers in addition to mine protesters.”