AUDIO FILE: 2001 Tre Arrow Interview From Hospital Bed
In October of 2001, Tre Arrow was injured in a fall from a tree sit in the Acey Line Timber Sale in a region called God's Valley, near Nehalem, at the Oregon coast. He was injured protesting the Oregon State Forestry sale of a public forest, opposed by many of the local people as well as activists from the Portland area. |
Tre states that "the reason we were out there at God's Valley......was because we care; we care about this state, we care about the state forests, we care about wildlife, we care about human beings and air and water quality. Things that we want people to know is that this is a habitat for spotted owl and marbled murrelet, despite what ODF (Oregon Department of Forestry) claims. This is an area that has old growth qualities and old growth trees, despite what ODF claims. This is also the backyard to many people's homes, individuals that have families and children, that get their drinking water from this area that we are trying to protect. And there actually has been a history and a record of peoples drinking water being contaminated by the very logging operations in this area because they are so close to the streams that these people get their drinking water from."|
The loggers in the area were very critical of these protests in general and of tree sits in particular. They exclaim that there must be other, better ways to achieve the goals prompting the protests. In response to such comments from one of the loggers who chopped off the branches below his perch on the tree he was protecting, Tre says, "there are other ways, and every other way has failed. Every other tactic, every other legal action, every other action has failed.....There were focus groups, there were letters, there was a comment period, there were several other measures that were taken, legal measures as well, to try to prevent this, to prevent the cutting, to try and prevent some tragedies, like what has happened now. And again, ODF was completely unresponsive, and all of our other actions have fallen on deaf ears. And they even had the audacity to start cutting in one of the area, area three, before the comment period was even up."
Tre continues discussing this particular sale, and how government officials aren't concerned about the safety of activists, who often put their life and limb in jeopardy in defense of public lands. "What happened up there was that they were cutting trees right around where we were. There was no buffer zone; there was no protection of safety, and the fact that I'm not dead is truly a miracle." He continues: " I think that this is outrageous, and that people must do as much as they can to hold these agencies accountable for their actions."
. Towards the end of the interview, Tre makes a special effort to emphasize that this protest began in the local area, and the assistance of outside activists was specifically requested. "The public in the God's Valley area were so concerned about their forests, about the state of their air, water quality and wildlife there, that they sought out direct action activists because there were not that many people in that area to take on those kinds of responsibilities..........local businesses, local residents, community members that were in all walks of life, in government agencies, in schools and other occupations, were all in support of what all of us were doing out there, in an attempt to halt ODF in their lies and in their destruction, and to try to save some of the last remaining ancient forests that is along the coast."
The total length of this audio file is about 13 minutes. Hospital Interview with Tre Arrow
Later on the same day that Tre was injured, a large gathering of people marched to the site and crossed the line into an area which ODF declared was out of bounds for the public. Many people were arrested, some very brutally. A media person, wearing her press pass in plain sight, was pulled from the legal side of the line of protestors, and thrown forcibly to the ground. She was not arrested, probably due to the press pass, yet the pass was in plain sight and many questioned if this was an accident, or an instance of intimidation tactics used by local law enforcement personnel.. After these arrests, I interviewed a local resident who also remarked on how this protest had local roots. She also speaks to the tactics of intimidation used by the ODF to suppress local dissent during the time that comments on the sale were being gathered.
I post this video to demonstrate that, though Tre is accused of Eco-Terrorism, this accusation is not proven, and that law enforcement officers employ methods every day to suppress and control dissent that are, in every definition of the word, terrorism. To intimidate is to terrorize. Both words have the same goal, and those who employ these methods justify their use with similar rationalizations. One of the definitions for intimidate is "to coerce by intimidation or fear." Whether this intimidation is used to suppress dissent or achieve particular political goals, the effect upon those who are subjected to this behavior is similar, if not identical. And, this is not the "American Way" I was raised up to believe in and support. This is not a geographical feature of "the land of the free and the home of the brave" taught in our schools and churches. It is not a family value and the overt acceptance of such methods is truly an example of the true moral decline in this nation.
Video file is 5 minutes in length:
We all need to support those who stand up for the commonwealth and the common good. Tre's present journey through trying times reflects a similar geography inflicted upon this nation and her peoples by greed and dispassionate conservatism. There is much we can all do, whether in support of Tre, in defense of our forests, or merely nurturing and spreading belief in a basic goodness residing in the heart of each human being. This last is certainly the most difficult, and most important contribution of all.
To support Tre:
Tre Arrow Website
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