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'You buy Solo, you buy us!' - Pepper spray and arrests at the Solo timber sale auction

On Tuesday, July 30, the Solo timber sale auction took place at the Mt. Hood forest office in Sandy. The Solo timber sale will clear-cut 157 acres of old growth in the Oak Grove Watershed. Valiant forest activists have set up a tree-sit in Solo [ picture ], in a tree named Horehound (in memory of Beth O'Brien, who fell from a tree to her death at the Eagle Creek tree-sit this Spring).

Over a hundred people showed up for a protest of the sale, which was bought by Thomas Creek Lumber. When the Thomas representative left the sale, protesters employed non-violent, direct action to block in his car. Law enforcement officers responded with violent, oppressive action.

A first-hand account reads in part: "At that point, approximately 9:30, the protesters surrounded the car attempting to blockade the person in. This lasted about 5 minutes or so when the police shoved some protesters to the ground, others fell on nearby comrades. As the man attempted to drive away, the protesters crossed the bushes and set up another human blockade. The protesters stood yelling for a minute or so. Then the shotguns with orange handles surfaced, presumably bean bag guns. The police and forest service agents unsheathed their pepper spray, shook them and took aim. 10 seconds later many protesters were saturated in the painful substance. Fellow protesters quickly rushed to the infected with water, and aided with the detox process. Other brave souls managed to face the pepper spray and took direct action against the possible timber buyer all the way to the street where he left." [ Read more... ]

More, from the open publishing newswire:
[ AUDIO from protest ]
[ Initial phone report | "freddie pigs out of control at solo auction" | "The solo auction, a brief account and officer information" ]
[ Solo Auction Protest Photos | Photos, Part 1: the fun part | Photos, Part 2: the pepperspray part ]

Reports from previous timber sale action protest at same office, July 9, 2002: [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]

[ Cascadia Forest Alliance | Bark ]