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Ashland Activists take to the trees to say, "END WAR!"

Ashland activist take to the trees to oppose the WAR.
Ashland Activists take to the trees to say, "END WAR!"
Ashland Activists take to the trees to say, "END WAR!"
In solidarity with actions planned across the globe this weekend, two climbers unfurled a 25‚��x7‚�� banner reading, ‚��NO DEATH FOR $! END WAR', and continue to occupy platforms high in the treetops above Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: February 13, 2003

Activists take to the trees to say, ‚��End War!‚��

In solidarity with actions planned across the globe this weekend, two climbers unfurled a 25‚��x7‚�� banner reading, ‚��NO DEATH FOR $! END WAR', and continue to occupy platforms high in the treetops above Lithia Park in Ashland. The tree-sitters are on a hunger strike to draw attention to the millions of Iraqi civilians suffering under United Nations sanctions and brutal U.S. foreign policy and economic policy that perpetuates suffering and starvation on people across the world.

The Bush administration is quietly undermining civil liberties, gutting environmental laws, cutting social service programs and schools, giving large tax cuts to the upper class, meanwhile beating the drums of war. Right here in Ashland, homelessness is on the rise, affordable housing is disappearing, schools are closing, old growth forests are slated to be logged, and city officials refuse to stand up for civil liberties. Ashland citizens are sending a message to the Bush administration and their Republican allies in state and local governments that resistance is on the rise.

The growing homeless community in Ashland is experiencing increased harassment and incarceration for sleeping on the streets. Local trailer park residents are facing eminent eviction from their homes to make way for further development. Briscoe elementary school is slated to close at the end of the school year and budget cuts are severely impacting students at all levels. The mayor continues to support the expansion of Mt. Ashland Ski Area into pristine old growth habitat at the headwaters of Ashland‚��s municipal watershed. And the city administrator and mayor are attempting to stonewall a group of citizens from bringing a resolution opposing the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act to the city council that would protect Ashlanders from unwarranted government surveillance and harassment.

‚��We must rise up to challenge these threats to our lives and the lives of all beings. We have stood aside long enough. It is time we stand up for the earth and her people. Whether it is U.S. planes dropping bombs on Iraqi civilians or Chinook helicopters hauling old growth trees from our forests, whether it is economic displacement of people in Ashland or free trade that benefits multinational corporations at the expense of people and ecosystems in the global South, the war must end! We can all step out of our comfort and privilege to resist these atrocities that occur every day‚��, said one of the women in the trees.

Anti-war activists will take to the streets in mass this weekend. Millions are expected to march in New York, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Berlin, Prague, Caracas, Paris, Baghdad, Tel Aviv, and over 450 other cities across the globe. Thousands of others will engage in acts of civil disobedience. At noon on Friday, February 14th, a ‚��Celebration of Resistance: Street Party to Defy the March to War‚�� is planned for the Ashland Plaza. At noon on Saturday, February 15th, a march and rally is planned in Medford, assembling at Veteran‚��s Memorial Park.
Events today (thursday) 13.Feb.2003 17:14

peace

Once the treesit was discovered, the police reported that city ordinances were being violated, and that the banner would be taken down. When I spoke with the officer in charge (officer Smith), he told me that "They can stay in the tree till summer", but the banner would have to come down.

Shortly afterwards a city utility van with extendable platform was driven into the park, and a city employee went up and sliced the large banner. The banner was immedietly recovered by activists and spirited into the treesit. When the van tried to leave, it got stuck in the soaked lawn in Lithia Park, and a backhoe had to be brought in to drag it out.

The rain has stopped at this point, and the women seem in good spirits.