And standing on the top of the heap for a second year in a row is Freeport-McMoran CEO Richard Adkerson. While the average worker in Arizona took around $44,000 last year, the mining boss took in just shy of $20 million, which actually was quite a bit less than the year before, when Adkerson cashed out some stock and took home a cool $82 million.
Which should come as some consolation to mine workers in West Papua, Indonesia (well, the ones who are still alive, that is). Last month 28 were killed in a tunnel collapse in a Freeport-McMoran mine. But what's a little death between friends, right? Especially when it's easily replaceable workers. As long as the profits continue to flow up the ladder.
On Friday another worker was killed in a similar manner. The union representing the workers, who fought a brutal 3 month strike for higher wages in 2011, has called on workers to halt production again until there is a safety review of the mine.
But, hey, raking in millions while workers die isn't the only perk of being a Freeport-McMoran executive. As a recent release of Phoenix Police Department documents reveals, being a top mining executive also gets you the cooperation of the police when anyone has the gall to protest your
And that's precisely what seems to have happened in 2011-2012 in Phoenix, as Occupy Phoenix protesters, members of the Industrial Workers of the World, the East Timor Action Network and others organized a series of demonstrations in front of Freeport-McMoran's downtown Phoenix offices. Documents show that PPD was working directly with the company to provide them with intel about what protesters were up to. Just how much? It's not clear, but it could have been a lot. And it could have gone as far as DHS as well.
As several of the emails now available for review about police actions during that period show, cops made sure to include Freeport-McMoran corporate security manager Tom Tyo (a retired MCSO captain) in their conversation. In these emails they coordinate security and share information about the protest, when it will arrive, how many will attend and information about potential tactics. There were several of these protests.
We don't know what else they shared in part because we don't know what was said in phone calls, but also because large numbers of documents in the time period including these protests were released completely redacted, totally blacked out. However, protesters and organizations are named in police documents surrounding the protests.
This may seem like standard cop behavior. After all, perhaps it's just natural to think that the police would inform and cooperate with a corporation being targeted by protesters. Public safety, protection of property, etc. However, we've seen from other documents that police during this period routinely gave over information to both the Feds and corporations about protesters and their plans, even when they were completely legal.
In addition, Phoenix PD shared information on protesters through the FBI fusion center. Documents indicate that information-sharing happened at the very least with the right wing, pro-corporate lobbying group ALEC when it became the target of local protesters.
But there may well be more to this story. Documents also show that Infragard, the private-public security organization, was allowed to sit in on Fusion Center meetings and receive information on Occupy Phoenix protests and other actions, possibly including data on specific protesters.
Infragard functions as a partnership between businesses, private citizens, the police and the FBI to share security information. If this sounds to you like a proto-fascist organization, then you're not alone. The Arizona chapter's website declares that since it's members "are vetted by the FBI, we can do information sharing with sensitive but unclassified data: via member to member, FBI to and from members, Intelligence bulletins to and from members and the Department of Homeland Security to members."
What's the relevance to Freeport-McMoran? If you pull up Freeport-McMoran security honcho Tom Tyo's LinkedIn profile, what do you find? Infragard.
Yet again we see that the Phoenix Police response to Occupy Phoenix and other local activists was very likely more than it seemed, with strong indications that police either willingly cooperated with corporate targets of protest or facilitated information sharing with them thanks to the mammoth, bloated homeland security infrastructure.
The short version? The Feds let Infragard sit in on FBI fusion center discussions about Occupy protests in Phoenix that targeted Freeport-McMoran, and the head of security for Freeport-McMoran in Phoenix is a member of Infragard.
If more information sharing than appears in the emails didn't happen, it would be surprising, but it still demonstrates just how dangerous this public-corporate policing alliance is, especially in the context of the anti-terrorism framework, where police have been turned into bored but well-paid little anti-terror auxiliaries, whose funding and internal structure tend towards encouraging busy work, self-justification and the identifying of false threats in order to pad resumes and secure promotions and funding. By now, we have a decade of cops, bureaucrats, corporate functionaries and private consultants whose careers depend heavily on the anti-terror apparatus. This is a dangerous situation for everyone, but most of all those who stand up and challenge it.
Were protesters singled out by the police and then shared with anti-terrorism authorities and corporate security? It certainly looks that way when it came to the ALEC protests, and it looks a lot like that was the case with the Freeport-McMoran protests as well.
But the final outrageous element in the equation is the complete silence so far from the local media on the matter. What's the problem? Too busy reporting on Amy's Baking Company?
This is part 5 in our ongoing series analyzing recently released police and Federal documents detailing their surveillance and infiltration of Occupy Phoenix and anarchists in the Valley.