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forest defense

Straw Devil declaration of war

see below....
On March 24, 2003, following the death of Sparrow, a press release was sent out to announce the tree-sit and occupation of Straw Devil where some of Sparrow's ashes were placed.

The press release included this quote:

"Sparrow will always be a part of the forest and will forever be inside each of us, affecting our thoughts and actions. Any attempts to log this forest will be akin to a declaration of war and is an audacious attempt to desecrate the sacredness of this forest," said Karla Wiley, a forest advocate and friend of Sparrow.
-
Basco Logging of Sutherlin, Oregon, under contract with Starfire Lumber (Engel Investors) of Cottage Grove along with the U$ Forest Service have just destroyed units 1 and 2 of the Straw Devil timber sale. They knew what this forest meant (especially these 2 units) and they knew that they wouldn't get it without a fight, so they sent in an infiltrator (and then that infiltrator was one of the people arresting our comrade after logging began); they orchestrated a "hard and fast" operation - building a road, marking unit boundaries, and felling trees - all at once -- completing the units in less than 2 days. More than 10 loggers and handfuls of law enforcement were sent in at once to do the job as quickly as possible.
4 units still remain uncut........

They have destroyed a sacred place and have desecrated the memory of Sparrow -- All in the name of GREED and PATRIARCHY.

Friends of Sparrow will not forget and they will not forgive.....war has been declared.

contact the destroyers 28.Jul.2003 14:37

g

Starfire Lumber Co Main Office
2795 Mosby Creek Rd, Cottage Grove, OR
(541) 942-0168

Starfire Lumber Co Sales Office
(541) 942-5541

Basco Logging Inc
1039 Park Hill Ln, Sutherlin, OR 97479-9447
(541) 459-9318

contact them 28.Jul.2003 18:46

mb

Thats the spirit!

Please 28.Jul.2003 19:52

Dove

Keep it a non-violent war please. Keep the moral high ground and do what you can without anyone getting hurt on either side.

xtn ? 28.Jul.2003 19:54

me

Starfire main office extensions are
212 214 218 220 224 230 238 240 242 244 246 248 250

WAR???? 28.Jul.2003 19:56

tre spike tre_sike@hotmail.com

WAR???? Define what it means. I thought PEACEFUL means were the plan. I don't plan to get hurt or die for any bit of vegitation, no matter how big, old or pretty. WAR??? What the hell does that mean? Cops and Freddies hear the term WAR, you've got to expect them to up the response level. WAR??? Are we all nuts?

xtn 28.Jul.2003 20:10

you

Bascoe xtns are
11 12 13 15 17 22 24 27

not long distance from Eugene 28.Jul.2003 20:21

callin'

hey yall, if yer in eugene, and yer worried that you can't afford to call the hinterlands...cottage grove is a free call from town so let's leave those folks some voice mails to hear at 8 am tommorow.

??? 28.Jul.2003 22:50

Norton

I hope this forest gets spared. Yes it might be wise to watch your wording......you might end up with a whole forest full of super-freds toting AK-47's and I doubt that is what you are wishing for. That wording is not exactly real inviting for a public mass campaign either.

war is a METAPHOR, fer chrissakes! 29.Jul.2003 02:03

me

I respect the concern being shown by some, but, christ, what are we all now, a bunch of panseyasses?! How come only the fascist c*cksuckers running this joke of a country are allowed to use metaphors now, and not us?! They have their "war on drugs," "war on crime," etc. Why can't we have our "war on ecocide"?! Forgive me for explaining the obvious, but it appears to be necessary for some people: "War" is a metaphor for vigorous, urgent action taken with high moral seriousness. No one has any trouble mistaking the meaning of this metaphor in other contexts.Y'all have allowed yourselves to become so cowed by the rotten stinking establishment you're even afraid to speak your minds honestly. And to the person who belittled this campaign as being about "pretty vegetation," wake up and smell the f*cking toxic smoke! The whole bloody planet is being torn apart by these sobs, and you think we're just crying about "pretty vegetation"?!

ELF RISING 29.Jul.2003 08:26

Militant ELF

Let it be war. The forest is the greatest home-field advantage ever. Stop trying to be peaceful to people who cannot understand peace. Destroy their means to kill our forest brothers. It is time they felt the fear the forest feels at their coming.

stupidity and resistance 29.Jul.2003 14:11

humph

Hey, I thought the word "pansyasses" was a little wierd, but when the same post threw out the word "cocksucker" as an insult that was way too much. Your dedication to the woods may be admirable, but your dedication to solidarity with other humans in struggle leaves much to be desired. While you allmost had me convinced that war is an appropriate metaphor to appropriate (i really don't know) apparently misogyny/homophobia in war are not issues important enough for you to bother with, and as such I don't want to be on the front lines with you.

same goes for any dumbdumb who wastes precious "security capital" shooting off their mouths with meaningless ELF rhetoric on line.

our movement needs more smarts, in a hurry.

Cascadia Summer Mission Statement 29.Jul.2003 15:17

anon

When necessary we will engage in non-violent civil disobedience, putting our bodies between the saws and the trees, as well as disrupting the operations of companies and government agencies which are engaged in the pillaging of the Earth. Civil disobedience tactics may include road blockades (preventing the movement of machinery), treesits (preventing the logging of forests), occupations of offices (preventing the daily business of wilderness wreckers), and other activities.

huh? 29.Jul.2003 17:25

Rise UP

war is raw. It's obvious that these tactics aren't working. Time to turn up the heat. I don't want to hurt anyone, but there is a time when the scout must pick up the lanse. Stay invisible and away from the ineffective. They don't like the treesits, but noone wants to go out into the forest if they aren't logging.

ELF Militant UNWANTED 29.Jul.2003 21:43

I suspect

ELF Militant - your comments are UNWANTED, UNWELCOME, AND UNNECESSARY. Go encourage violence on some other planet.

Cocksucking Queer 29.Jul.2003 21:45

Ferret Mike

I agree about the inappropriateness of the epithet. I mean, seeing how I am proud to be a Queer forest activist and tree-sitter. I have been fired for being queer, beaten and fucked with over it, and I am as healthy and discriminating about whom I go with as any straight I know out there. Please don't call forest rapers cock suckers, they are something quite criminal and sick, something gays are not just because of any choice of sexual technique. You're welcome, honey.

Patriarchy keeps new people from the ecodefense community 30.Jul.2003 03:17

White Lilac

I applaud Ferret Mike for taking his own path as a forest activist and wish him the best in his work. I too am a cocksucking queer and proud of it, but unfortunately have not yet found a niche that's right for me in the forest defense community.

I hope the comments posted here and in related forest defense stories on indymedia serve to show the uninitiated that forest defense in Oregon has a long way to go before patriarchy is reduced to levels where queers and womyn can feel safe in these communities. (Womyn's action camps are a welcome arrival and a great start, but risk being segregationist in the long term if they don't sufficiently challenge patriarchy in "mainstream" groups.)

I'm still quite new to Oregon, I've been here less than a year, and was excited about Cascadia Summer, something I looked forward to participating in. I took most of the summer off so I could completely devote myself to ecodefense and learn tactics from experienced defenders. I have experienced nothing but frustration this summer as I have yet to find a group I feel comfortable working with after being involved with ten different groups. The summer is half over and I plan to return to work next week, feeling annoyed that I've "wasted" so much time already. Actually it hasn't been wasted, it's been a great eye opener, but I'm left feeling that not only do I need to struggle against the raping and pillaging of our forests, but I also need to struggle against (most of) the groups defending them!

There are many wonderful people in CFA, CFD and other groups, don't get me wrong. Also, my thoughts here don't focus on any one experience and have not developed as a reaction to any one person or group, so please don't mistake me for speaking in an accusatory manner. It may sound like I am, but I'm just trying to relate my experiences and perceptions ... and they are just that, one person's thoughts and opinions. I intend them as a criticism of how patriarchy deters fresh blood from joining these communities.

Not all of my frustrations stem from being queer. They also partly stem from the various schools of thought already expressed in the above comments ... i.e. the more militant types vs. pacifist types, etc. While I am admittedly not completely qualified to make this statement (because I am new here), I definitely get the impression that some in this movement are lifestylist, and I am turned off by that. I get hassled when I drive, because I'm depleting the ozone layer, yet when I try to get a ride it is a haphazard, uncommitted, unreliable affair. (Yet tree sitters don't get fed by horse and wagon. Even if you don't own a car, most of the food you eat is covered in oil, from pesticides, fertilizers, and (even if it's organic) transportation. I hate my car and love my bike, but it pisses me off when I give 40mpg rides to people (whose karma and wallets are not burdened with car ownership) who tactlessly start telling me how bad cars are!) I get hassled for wearing "corporate" or "preppy" clothes, yet virtually all of my clothes have been given to me or rescued from the trash. My commitment to animals is called into question because I'm vegetarian and not yet vegan (working on that though). Before I get sidetracked, I'll just restate that not all of my frustrations stem from being queer.

Many of them do, however indirectly, yet they are also very difficult to articulate. I've never been raped or beaten or anything of that sort by anyone in the forest community. It's more about the overall atmosphere. I think we see the repressive tactics used by the freddys and greedy corporations and want to respond in an aggressive, macho, testosterone-laden way, and end up calling our friends and critics (who honestly love the forest as much as we do) a bunch of pansies if they aren't quite as militant. Not that queers can't be militant, but it's just that most militants don't see fairie dust as a desirable component to one's toolbox (they overlook its blinding, disorienting, and biodegradable qualities), if you know what I mean. "Humph" was right ... if you're into ELF-style tactics, that's your decision, but my guess is that if you're really into torching bulldozers on 100 degree days in bone dry conditions during wildfire season, you wouldn't be advocating it on the internet or among your friends. The point here is that instead of lashing out against each other and marginalizing those who disagree with us, we need to reaffirm our love of the forest, our opposition to their destruction, and move on against our real enemies.

Being queer is an issue that is at once irrelevant yet paramount to the forest community. Irrelevant, because I can punch a road with a bulldozer while wearing pink heels just (or nearly) as easily as I can while wearing steel-toed boots. Not that being queer has anything to do with your choice of footwear, but being queer is an attribute of a person, and thus there are queer (closeted!) loggers, queer corporate execs and queer forest defenders. However, the issue is paramount because the extent to which queers, minorities and womyn feel comfortable in a community is a good indicator of how well the community has dealt with patriarchy, hierarchy, authority, privilege, white supremacy and intolerance of dissent ... all pathologies that hinder our effectiveness.

Although I've been negative and vague in my post so far, I want to close with a (mostly) positive specific anecdote as an example of what I'm trying to talk about. My story does not involve ecodefenders so as not to place any particular group on the defensive, which would be counterproductive to my intent.

A couple of weeks ago I was hiking in the fall creek area with some friends. We had stopped along the creek and were playing with salamanders when we smelled smoke. At first we thought it was a campfire someone had started downstream but soon realized it was a forest fire. We hiked back to the car as fast as we could but it took awhile. We soon discovered that the main road out had been closed. Soon several cars had gathered as we awaited instructions/directions from a ranger. People were nervous and some were starting to panic, especially because only two of us actually had maps that showed the various gravel forest roads and no one seemed to know the best way out or how big the fire was. (Sharing my map with unprepared others was almost a mistake because someone tried to steal it.) Soon the ranger came and told us the quickest/safest way out. Our exodus began none too soon ... there was smoke everywhere, a few burning ashes were falling, and the midafternoon sun was sunset-orange because of all the particles in the air (it was very beautiful actually). About a mile later, the lead cars took a wrong turn, and after making sure someone else went to tell the others of their error, my friends and I continued on alone.

It was in this climate of nervousness and fear (most of us know just how fast fires can spread) that someone hailed us from the side of the road. He was lost and wanted to know if we knew the way out. We said 'follow us' and he did for awhile, although he turned off on a side road before we reached the highway. My friends didn't notice I was shaking after the encounter, and attributed my tenseness to the stress of our proximity to the fire. However, this lost traveler sported swastikas on his biceps, and occupied gun racks adorned his truck. I have had friends who have been shot at by nazis, and they have thrown rocks and sticks at me while (ironically) I was taking my boyfriend out to dinner on his birthday in an east coast town known for its 'progressiveness.'

(This was of course the Clark fire which has now burned over 5000 acres east of Eugene.)

The point to my anecdote is that to my friends, this nazi was just another yahoo out in the woods, not very different from the group of paranoid young people who were high on meth that tried to steal our map. To me, because of past experiences and because I'm queer, this was a terrifying encounter. I realize I was probably overreacting, as there was no direct threat made to me, but I think my response was understandable. Had I met this guy alone in the woods (and I do like to go hiking & backpacking solo) I'm sure he would have relished beating me unconscious if he knew I was queer.

In a similar manner, while "me" and his many variants might be amused that queers could take issue with his comments (after all, he was only protesting *fascist* cocksuckers) or feel that he is homophobic, he needs to consider how his words may be interpreted by others. My first boyfriend was raped during his second year of college, and words can't describe the pain he felt as his rapist gloated "yeah, you like that, don't you cocksucker" and worse while violating him in the worst of ways. While 'cocksucker' is a term that can be reclaimed like any other term that has previously been used to deprive a group of their pride, heritage, sexuality or humanity, it's appropriateness depends on the context and who's using it, just like other reclaimed terms such as queer, faggot and nigger. I don't see any justification for its use here ... and sadly, these sorts of blustery, patriarchical thoughts have been just under the surface of some people (not all, and not a majority, but there seems to be some in every group) I've met in the woods.

I try to give others the benefit of the doubt, but the reality remains that I haven't yet found a niche in an ecodefense community that I feel comfortable with, to our mutual loss.

While I'm at it, "me," fuck your jingoistic "war on ecocide" and your high moral seriousness. A war patterned after the war on crime or the war on drugs is a failure and a farce from the beginning, and high moral seriousness is a pseudonym for fundamentalism.

I love you, I hate you ecowarriors 30.Jul.2003 16:12

spiroknavenine@yahoo.com

I love your realization that modern civilization has gone too far, too fast, too greedy, and too materialistic.

I love your youth. I love your energy. I love your sense of adventure. I love your spirit. I love your courage when you really show it.

I love your affinity for verdure and aversion for the seas of asphalt and concrete --- that all too many would have the world live in.

And there are some among you I absolutely adore for your spirituality.

Though, I have to say:

I hate your introverted cliques and costumes of filthy peasant pachouli clothes, and your smug starched flawless linen at the sign of any real trouble.

I hate your new age nutcase libertarian demagogy of confusion.

I hate your smug suburban pasty pale insulated little abodes where you were spawned, where you can flee for refuge whenever you want, where you have insurance to fall back on your entire life if all else fails . . .

never mind these are the very homes where your Mammas and Pappas got their rocks off in

and had you conceived in,
and had your diapers changed in,

never mind these are the homes made by the very blood and sweat of the very salt of the earth --- whom you picket sneer, mock as bigoted patriarchs, chauvinists, hicks, in-breds, and rednecks.

never mind while you vie among yourselves and the human race to be the
most stuck up playboy and playgirl with the most toys,

or the next poster girl for the little Lady Galdrial/julia butterfly - Godess - Gaia revolution,

or the next George Hayduke Rambo for the war against corporate greed ----

You sit on the tit of yet another well organized flow of greed.

The greed of ambiguity and chaos
The greed of smoking dope,
the greed of dissension, contention, strife
and moreover the greed of combative Vigilante damnation against the very people who put a roof over your head long, long, long ago.

I hate your little overrated Ads in your overrated yuppie Cracker box Cafes --- with all your alluring tear-jerking romance that reaches out to my soul to be the rustic new age pagan in harmony with nature

to pity the plight of wild animals and ancient forests,
to save the world and be caressed by what?

beautiful Bohemian bisexuals . . .
Sucking on a trustfund nipple that was never there for most people


Again and again and again flyers are pasted

all down the misty cold enchanted Emerald cold damp piss bowl down
down
down
the
West Coast of North America from
Sitka to San Francisco
SouthEast Portland, Seattle, Eugene, Ashland
and just about every little avant-Garde Bohemian granola joint
--- all never anymore than
feeding troughs for the kids with rich parents.

I hate everything about your hypocricy
you self-proclaimed eco-warriors of the PNW forests.

a responce to white lilac 30.Jul.2003 19:25

a cfd person

If you're interested we'd love to hear from you and talk about your experience of feeling alienated with CFD and/or Cascadia Summer - we take this stuff seriously. call us at 541 684 8977 or email  forestdefenders@tao.ca

Also as in regards to your encounter at fall creek (which you never said but I'm assuming was with a forest activist) you should know that Cascadia Summer and CFD have split from Fall Creek explicitly BECAUSE of being open to having rapists, racists, and violent people in their community - see  http://www.cascadiasummer.org/spokes/adhoc.htm for more info on our anti-oppression policy and the disputes with Fall creek.....

blahblahblah 30.Jul.2003 23:56

another jerk

well, you have no reason to assume that the swastika toting individual was from the fall creek treesit area. in fact i have spent alot of time at FC and this individual sounds like noone i have ever seen out there. but there are numerous other people who use that area. namely meth cookers who have a lab down the road from FC and are not affiliated with the sit at all, as well as locals from lowell(many of whom i have had violent confrontations with) as well as any other weirdo, wingnut, or unsavory individual who like to go to the area down from FC to shoot their guns.

unfortunately i am no longer at FC or anywhere near eugene and all the seperatist gender political bullshit. that in fact is what drove me away from the area and ecodefense in general. ya'll need to get some perspective and quit making assumptions and spreading hate.

you are becoming what you most hate and fear.

get real and stop the hate, stop the rhetoric. maybe if people would actually start working together and respecting each others true diversity forest might not get cut.

so where is the WAR? it seems to be within CFD and the community and not against the timber companies.

where is the WAR? straw devil fell and is falling though it is claimed to be defended at all costs to honor Sparrow, so why did it fall. why are you all out there, when will you change tactics and start actually putting yourselves in front of the saws to stop this death?

i know this will just get written off as another enabler, opressor, punk rock meat head comment and will not be taken as serious as it is intended.

you worry too much about protocol and beuracracy when you should be rooting out infiltrators and coming up with new tactics. or maybe, just maybe, those who are at the top of the ecodefense chain are the infiltrators and that is why they continue to spout hate in regards to other campaigns, continue to promote seperation and division within the community, and spend so much focus on protocol, meetings and other hype. all this just distracts from the true mission-saving the forest, and from the looks of straw devil noone is being very succesful at that.

sorry for all the negativity but some one has got to say it.

from the other side of the world,
peace out

p.s. 31.Jul.2003 01:28

another jerk

hmmm, just reread white lilacs post and cfd person seemed to fail to notice that the story by white lilac even said that the incident DID NOT involve ecodefenders!!!

stop the hate and dont be so quick to jump the gun folks.

another postscript 31.Jul.2003 16:46

White Lilac

Yes, just to make sure we're all on the same page, my nazi was not an ecodefender, neither part of CFD nor fall creek. He was just one of the many crazies you can meet in any national forest.

My point in posting about this was simply to give an example of how the same event can be interpreted one way by someone who's queer, and another way by someone who's not. My friends, pasty white straight guys, didn't think much about this guy .... but we can all understand why nonwhites, foreigners and queers would be shaken by meeting him, particularly if they'd had violent run-ins with nazis before, as I did.

This anecdote was not meant to be an example of homophobia or patriarchy in forest defender circles, because it didn't involve anyone from those circles. What I was trying to say, and apparently wasn't clear about it, is that the best way to combat patriarchy is to put yourself in someone else's shoes and try to see how they would interpret or respond to your actions and words. I've seen very little blatant homophobia among forest defenders ... but just because you are polite to me and don't "discriminate" doesn't mean you're not homophobic, and doesn't mean you've created a space where I feel comfortable. A very similar argument can be made for racism.

I understand that it is very frustrating to ecodefenders to read unsubstantiated posts such as mine, because it immediately tends to put you on the defensive. You want specifics, you want to deal with the problem and clear your name, and then move on, but reality often isn't that simple. I can't give you specifics because I'm not talking about specifics, but about vague things like my overall impression of the community. I also understand that anonymous, unsubstantiated accusations can be used by your enemies in an attempt to discredit you and sow division among you. I chose to post this anyway because what I'm talking about (whether there's an atmosphere, climate or space I feel comfortable in), although nebulous and ethereal by nature, is critical to growing your ranks. It is not my intent to piss you off or frustrate you.

When you return from visiting another city, state or country and a friend asks you "Did you like it?", they generally don't care what your answer will be. You can say "yes," "no," "kinda," or whatever. They just want your opinion. We all accept that just because we might dislike some town, that doesn't mean our friends won't like it, and vice versa. But if enough people don't like a certain town, for whatever reason, the chamber of commerce should take note if they want to draw new visitors, residents and businesses.

Now apply that logic to something like homophobia or patriarchy. Different people will always have different opinions about its existence, its dimensions, and its consequences. These opinions are all valuable. Just because I don't feel comfortable in most forest circles doesn't mean that the world is ending. Ferret Mike is an example of someone who has found his way. It is my hope that my feedback is helpful and desirable. Add it to feedback you're getting from other queers to get an idea of how you're doing.

I agree with 'another jerk' ... more meetings, consensus, or bureaucracy will not help us attract more people or save more trees. I hate all these wastes of time (and consensus particularly because it ensures the tyranny of the lowest common denominator). What I'm asking for is more personal responsibility, just try to put yourself in another's shoes and see the world through their eyes for a change. Don't go sit in a group bull session and stare at each other and impotently ask 'what can we do?', but ask yourself what you can do to combat your own homophobia. If you don't know how, then just ask your neighbor how the world looks to them.

By the way, this method fixes a hell of a lot more than homophobia.

Part of me feels I should still be out there with you on the front lines, but I'm out of energy and patience. I'm going to recharge and do some armchair organizing and comment writing this winter, grow an even thicker skin, then try again in the spring.

what the hell. 17.Sep.2003 10:43

pirate mommy

hi. i recently spent about a month at Straw Devil, after a long stretch in the redwoods. in my years as a northwestern forest pirate, I have met many, many kind people from the Red Cloud Thunder crew and the Fall Creek campaign. The war that CFD is trying to start on these people, fellow forest defenders, disgusts me and is driving me away from forest defense in Oregon. I feel that the Fall Creek campaign is being unjustly targeted. I feel that if the snotty city kids from CFD spend all of their time fucking around with "the situation" out at fall creek that their campaign will fall apart. this shit is really pissing me off, and in a way it is not my busines, but it is since me and most of the folk that I roll with are from the valley and care about this place. "Forest Defenders," stop fighting each other or go back to the city where you fucking came from. fuck you all.

thank you pirate mommy 30.Sep.2003 02:30

another jerk

thanx thanx thanx

i spent a good portion of time at fall creek myself, and had many enriching experiances. your words are great! very well put in simple terms, you seem to see what the reality of this situation is. i have had people try to block my access to the cascadia summer site for posting my feelings, this just proves our point so much more. thanx again for voicing a word of support for FC i wal feeling like the only one out there. i unnnerstand your feelings about not wanting to be a part of forest defense in oregon due to these people. i feel the same way, as a matter of fact the ways and means of cfd had alot to do with me leaving the fucking western hemisphere, now i am elsewhere and happier for it. i just hope that cfd can pull they heads out fo their collective ass before they run everyone off and are left with large stands of clear cut. when will they see that the only reason fall creek still exiosts after five years is because of the people out there and who they are. look at straw devil, it got partially cut.........who has the tactics that work.
cfd: fuck your PC bullshit, fuck your nonviolence tactics. harsh words i know, but i feel pretty harsh and that is one thing FC taught me is people are emotional beings and need to express, not hold it in and cover it over with correct terminology, also people make mistakes and we need to be open to their capacity for change, not ostrasize them and push them out because of their short comings. cfs, take a serious look within before casting any more stones.
FC: keep fighting, and know that support id out there even if it is on the other side of the world. dont chang, your methods work even if there are problems, there will always be problems

OK 04.Dec.2003 14:45

Pirate mommy

Uh, we sound dumb when we talk shit.

another question 04.Dec.2003 15:01

pirate mommy

do we get to spend the holidays at straw devil? The willamette is the best in winter. The air is so clean.