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forest defense

Update from Eagle Creek

Report from Indymedia reporter
After hearing about a possible raid on the Eagle Creek blockade today, an Indymedia reporter went up to check out the situation.

Upon arrival to the closed gates, she and two reporters from Channel 8 were held back by Forest Service law enforcement, who implied that the road was closed. After some discussion, however, the Forest Service decided to allow Channel 8 in. When the Indymedia reporter protested, the Forest Service relented, but said she would have to walk. (The Channel 8 reporters were given a ride.) However, another Forest Service employee then offered to give her a ride.

Other people at the scene asked the Forest Service if the road was "legally closed" and were told that it was not; the Forest Service just wanted to keep people out.

When the Indymedia reporter arrived at the blockade, she found several guide wires strung across the road and attached to a treesit platform off the side of the road. This was set up in this way so that if someone cut a guidewire, it would endanger whomever was in the platform.

The Forest Service was trying to get the activist in the platform to come down. They told him if he descended that he could take his things with him and would only be fined $75. He came down, and took off into the woods, much to the chagrin of the Forest Service.

Officer Dan Blythe chose not topursue him by foot because it is "dangerous terrain" and he doesn't want any officers to become harmed. Blythe then called for additional Forest Service employees with climbing gear to come out to remove the platform.

Blythe also said that, while the road will continue to be closed to motor vehicles, that anyone -- even "protestors" -- can walk in on foot.

Prior to the arrival of the Indymedia reporter, forest activists on the scene say that one of the Forest Service employees was threatening to cut a guidewire with a knife. When a girl tried to stop him she got cut.

On 1 June, which is this Friday, the Forest Service is allowed to go into the area and begin cutting trees. There have been no public statements about further activism to stop these actions. Who knows what will happen then....