CASCADIA, TURTLE ISLAND: FOREST ACTIVISM|
Activists spring to action in defense of U.S. forests
From July 1-8, hundreds of forest activists from around North America attended the annual Earth First! rendevous. This year's rendevous was held in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in the part of Cascadia temporarily known as the State of Washington. Immediately after the end of the event, early on Monday, July 8, direct actions rippled across the Northwest of the United States. In Portland, Oregon, activists descended on the headquarters of the Umpqua Holding Company on the 19th floor of a downtown skyscraper and shut it down. As activists locked down at the company's doors and chanted, "Save the ancient forests, boycott Umpqua Bank", Seattle's Infernal Noise Brigade made a joyful ruckus in the building's ground floor lobby. Portland Police responded with pepper spray and arrests.
In Eugene, Oregon, activists gathered outside "stUmpqua" Bank to educate customers about the tree-slaying ways of Umpqua's president, Allyn Ford. Mysteriously a load of wood chips was dropped inside the door of the bank and a big stump blocked the driveway entrance. Outside of Olympia, Washington, activists locked down to the William's Energy Company's pipeline drilling equipment, stopping all work on the project for most of the day. County Sheriffs arrested several people, targeting Indymedia activists first and seizing their video cameras. In the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana, two Wild Rockies Earth First! activists occupied trees in a proposed helicopter landing site.
On the legal front, a coalition of environmental and citizens groups led by Bark filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, demanding that the Mt. Hood National Forest outside Portland withdraw the Polallie-Cooper timber sale. This sale is in the Cooper Spur area of Mt. Hood, which is also threatened by two other timber sales, plans for a massive resort development, and the expansion of a ski area. The next day, Tuesday, July 9, members of the same coalition and Earth First!ers convened at the Mt. Hood Forest Headquarters in Sandy, Oregon, to protest the Clan timber sale auction [ photos & stories: 1 | 2 | 3 ].
On Wednesday morning, the Cascadia Forest Alliance announced that a tree-sit had gone up in the Solo timber sale in Mt. Hood National Forest, bringing up to five the number of active tree-sit locations in Oregon. That afternoon, people protested outside the Federal Courthouse in Portland, where a Grand Jury has been subpoenaing local forest activists. Due to the secretive nature of Grand Juries, the subject of investigation is not known [ story | photos ].
Meanwhile, at a Cascadia Forest Defenders tree-sit in the Berrypatch timber sale in the Willamette National Forest near Eugene, one activist was arrested and logging continues within 20 feet of the tree-sit despite confirmed sightings of the endangered spotted owl in the area.
[ portland indymedia | tree-sit.org | Earth First! Journal | Cascadia Forest Alliance | Cascadia Forest Defenders ]