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forest defense

See Eric Run

One year later, Eric Schatz continues to hide from the legal process against treesitters.
Maxxam climber Michael Oxman assaults Phoenix 160 ft. up a 900 year old redwood
Maxxam climber Michael Oxman assaults Phoenix 160 ft. up a 900 year old redwood
Freshwater, CA - A year has passed since the mass treesit extractions began in Freshwater Creek. They were carried out under cover of the pre-emptive war on Iraq. High above the ground, non-violent activists were forcibly removed from old-growth redwoods slated for cut by the Texas-based Maxxam Corporation.

Eric Schatz, of Schatz Tree Service, led the charge to remove treesitters. He bought an ad in the paper saying he and his crew were there to ?rescue? treesitters, and his main concern was safety. Despite the rhetoric, treesitters were kicked, choked, hung up side down, threatened, hot-tied and sexually harassed. Schatz continues to employ Michael Oxman, who has violently and repeatedly mishandled activists, even as he is told ?you gotta get off him? or ?ok Ox, give him some air.? According to reporters who have spoken with Schatz, he is proud of what his crew accomplished ? aiding in the removal of fifteen treesitters in Freshwater alone, clearing the way for Maxxam to continue illegal logging of the already impaired area.

Most of the trees activists fought to defend are gone, but the legal repercussions rage on. Stemming from the Freshwater treesits, thirty people are named defendants on a harassment lawsuit filed by Maxxam?s Pacific Lumber, and one treesitter has a bogus felony assault with a deadly weapon charge hanging over his head. Meanwhile Schatz is ducking down alleyways to avoid being served with subpoenas that would bring testimony and evidence so justice could be served in these matters.

What?s the problem? Treesitters are dangerous, dirty criminals, right? If Schatz would step forward to present all that up-close video footage he shot with the hidden camera on his helmet when he evicted us, we could all see the truth. Pacific Lumber might win their quarter million dollar lawsuit against us, and we could all get on with our lives. Instead, Schatz changes his address to the other end of California, as far from Humboldt as he can get to complicate the process. He has the opportunity to vindicate himself against the terrible accusations mentioned above, but like a coward, he hides.

It?s suspicious. But as long as Schatz cowers from what he once so proudly stood behind, the so-called safe removal of treesitters from old-growth trees Maxxam wants to cut, we will continue to loiter in legal limbo. I go to court to face the repercussions of my actions. Why doesn?t Eric Schatz?

homepage: homepage: http://www.contrast.org/treesit

culture of make believe 31.Mar.2004 11:42


first off I would like to congratulated you on standing up to and trying to prevent corporate crime. I don't understand why it is ok to kill someone for not getting out of a car fast enough but not ok to nonviolently protest a crime before it happens.

In Oregon there were many illegal tree cuttings. The people that profited were very few and the damage that was done was enormous. When there was enough uproar about the illegal cuttings the government just changed the laws so the cutting could continue.

There is a very interesting article to read about doing jail time for protest activities. A woman stepped 2 feet across a line into government property and gets federal jail time for it. She also talks about when she went to federal prison for planting corn on the property of a government missile silo site.


I found her words to be encouraging

same ole shit 01.Apr.2004 09:00


Having recently left Humboldt County, I was not surprised to see this kind of stuff still happening. The basic problem is that the local police and government are so intertwined with the timber industry that it gets hard to tell the difference between the two. Even with a fairly liberal D.A. and a lot of community support(and I mean a LOT), the industry still feels it can act with impunity. What they've done is adopt a new tactic which is to use private groups like Schatz instead of the police because private "armies" of vigilante thugs are a lot harder to pursue legally than public agencies. What should be done is to attack the laws that allow indiscriminate deputization of people like this. Man, Humboldt is still the wild west; no law, no rules.

Jobs anyone??? 20.Jul.2004 15:20


At least the man has a job and is working. How many of you have jobs considering that you have time to sit around in a tree like a Owl or Squirrel? Just wondering.