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The Lumberjack Online
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Anti-logging activists to stand trial
by Sarah Lewers
Seven forest activists will face trial on Dec. 6 for
trespassing charges stemming from a demonstration last
month protesting Steve Wills Logging and Trucking
Demonstration blocks vital truck route
This is the first protest to target Steve Wills
Logging and Trucking directly. The demonstration
included three separate roadblocks and took place at
Fisher Road outside of Hydesville � the site of the
largest anti-logging rally ever held in the history of
the environmental movement in the United States.
Of the seven activists arrested, six were charged with
infraction trespassing, while protester Kim Starr
received a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest in
addition to a misdemeanor trespassing.
�We were ready to get arrested,� said Starr. �The
sheriffs always act as [Pacific Lumber�s] personal
The activists turned their attention to Steve Wills
Logging and Trucking when they realized that all the
logging and log hauling previously done by PL was now
being subcontracted out to Wills� company. Starr
explained that when Maxxam took over PL in 1985 the
company split into different branches. Activists
allege the splits were strategic maneuvers designed to
�No one will ever see a truck hauling logs that says
�PALCO� or �Maxxam� again,� said Starr. �My reason for
spotlighting Steve Wills is that he�s doing a lot of
Starr said that Steve Wills Logging and Trucking is
very active in the cutting of old-growth forests and a
significant contributor to the deforestation occurring
throughout Humboldt County.
Numerous phone calls to Steve Wills Logging and
Trucking Company were not returned.
Although only seven protesters were taken into
custody, many activists were present to rally against
the company they consider to be a major perpetrator of
unsustainable forest practices.
During the protest, a roadblock formed across Fisher
Road, rendering it impassable for logging trucks.
Starr said one woman was actually pushed by a truck �
an occurrence she says is common at protests of this
Three of the activists locked themselves into a device
they nickname the �revolutionary bundle of joy.� The
contraption is a 55-gallon steel drum filled with
concrete and scrap metal and specially outfitted for
protest. Two of the protesters locked their necks into
U-locks and one fitted his arms into metal sleeves.
Starr explained the idea behind the devices was to
prevent authorities from simply winching away any
roadblocks they may erect, as human beings are
attached to the obstruction. All three activists who
were locked to the concrete-filled drumwere arrested.
Three other protesters handcuffed themselves to the
axles of a logging truck stopped by the roadblock, and
another locked himself to a large metal gate. All four
Other activists were there to provide support and some
displayed a 10- by 20-foot banner that proclaimed,
�Extinction is Forever, Trespass is Temporary.�
Starr claims that police used unnecessary force and
illegal methods to extract protesters from their
Star also said police brutality has happened at nearly
every protest she has participated in. She said that
deputies used a Skilsaw, jackhammer and crowbar to
remove activists from their positions.
�I�ve been arrested by Humboldt County Sheriffs many
times,� she said, �and I have never had them twist my
wrists like that before.�
The Humboldt County Sheriffs office was unable to
comment because of current litigation regarding this
When asked what the ultimate goal of the protesters
was, Starr said in an ideal situation the workers
would have a hand in the decision-making process.
She said if companies like Steve Wills Logging and
Trucking would get out of Maxxam�s pocket, the workers
could unite with the community and figure out how to
harvest timber in a sustainable manner.
�If clear cutting, the cutting of old-growth forest,
unstable land practices and the use of herbicides were
stopped, I would call it sustainable,� said Starr.
�Until then I�m sure non-violent direct action will
continue in this vein.�
Be sure to check out www.northcoastearthfirst.org