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forest defense

Location of Downtown lockdown!

1139 NW LoveJoy
Umpqua Bank Flagship store
Protestor Locked to 250 pound Stump outside Umpqua Bank's Flagship Store:

Forest Defenders Continue to Expose Oregon's Forest Destroyers

For Immediate Release

Following yesterday's surprise occupation of Senator Wyden's office by over 40 Oregon forest defenders, protestors turned their sights on Umpqua Bank. One protestor is currently locked to a 250 pound stump outside of Umpqua Bank's flagship store in Portland's Pearl District (1139 NW Lovejoy Street), while 20 Oregonians use banners, songs, and flyers to protest the bank's ties to the destruction of Oregon's public lands.

"Both Umpqua Bank and Senator Wyden greenwash their images while supporting commercial logging in Oregon's National Forests," said protestor Kristen Michelson. "We're exposing Senator Wyden and Umpqua Bank as two of the biggest threats to Oregon's public lands."

Umpqua Bank is tightly connected to the destruction of Oregon's ancient forests. Over the last four years activists have increasingly targeted Umpqua Bank for protests as a means to force Oregon old growth logging companies Roseburg Forest Products and Herbert Lumber to respect the public's desires to protect ancient forests.
"Umpqua Bank markets itself as the hip new alternative bank, while in reality Umpqua is closely linked to the dinosaurs of Oregon's old growth logging industry," said Michelson. "Oregon's forest destroyers profit from our business at Umpqua Bank, while our drinking water, forests, and wildlife pay the price."
The president of Umpqua Bank's board of directors is Allyn Ford, sole owner of Roseburg Forest Products. Roseburg Forest Products owns the contracts to some of the most controversial mature and old growth timber sales on public lands in Oregon, such as East Devil and Pryor in the Willamette National Forest.
The Herbert family was among the founders of Umpqua Bank in 1953. Lynn Herbert, the general manager/owner of Herbert Lumber is currently on the Board of Directors of Umpqua Bank. Lynn and Milton Herbert (owners of Herbert Lumber) are Umpqua Holding Co.'s largest shareholders, owning 1.5 million shares or 20% of the company's stock.
A local example of Herbert Lumber's destructive logging practices is the soon-to-be-cut Bear II Timber Sale, an old growth stand of prime spotted owl habitat, located in the Mt. Hood National Forest near Breitenbush Hotsprings. The Mt. Hood National Forest provides drinking water to over 40% of all Oregonians.
Protestors demand that either Herbert Lumber and Roseburg Forest Products immediately stop commercially logging on Oregon's public lands, or that Umpqua Bank remove both Allyn Ford and Lynn Herbert from its board of directors. Protestors encouraged consumers to boycott Umpqua Bank until those demands are met.

In July 2002, over 100 Earth First!ers took over Umpqua Holding Co. in downtown Portland for over two hours demanding cancellation of controversial timber sales held by Umpqua President of the Board Allyn Ford's Roseburg Forest Products. This action followed the 2002 National Earth First! gathering held in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. With the past two days of forest actions, local activists are gearing up for the 2005 National Earth First! Gathering to be held in Mt. Hood National Forest.
update 18.Aug.2004 12:44


2 hours later Mister Owl is still locked down to his stump and 20 or so other citizens remain with him, holding banners and signs and handing out leaflets.

Police, who arrived at approximately 10:30 am, have been unusually subdued. Although they did rip down signs and banners hanging on the actual building, they have allowed the activists to stay, under condition that they not threaten or make to feel afraid any passersby and not block the doors to the bank. One officer also asked a protester to wipe the sawdust off of the ATM machine she had sprinkled it on, and she complied. Everyone was very considerate on both sides, although some residents were heard shouting down at the police to get rid of the demonstrators.

At approximately 11 am signs were posted on the doors by bank employees announcing that the bank lobby was temporarily closed.

The building manager was overheard by me to say to the police that he did not want to press any charges, but he continued to hover about the scene, occasionally walking over to talk to the cops.

It was uncertain how long Mister Owl and the others would be allowed to stay, but they seemed to be in for the long haul. Officer Sheffer, who seemed to be in charge, told me that noise violations might be the only thing so far that could be a reason to do anything, and noise ordinances are not in effect until 10 pm.

Also on the scene was a film crew working on a video for hip hop band The Roots.