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Redwoods Update

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  • Hummingbird Lou
    forwarded from: http://www2.humboldt.edu/~merge/modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&page_id=773 The Lumberjack
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3 12:20 PM
      forwarded from: <northcoastearthfirst@yahoogroups.com>

      http://www2.humboldt.edu/~merge/modules.php?op=modload&name=PagEd&file=index&page_id=773

      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
      company.

      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
      goons.�

      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
      defray accountability.

      �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
      this work."

      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
      type.

      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
      were arrested.

      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
      positions.

      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
      case.

      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.�

      --------------------

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