Eureka, CA - Two years ago on my birthday, I was sitting 150 feet up a 1,200 year-old redwood, where I had been for ten months without touching the ground. It was January 3, 2003, and I was watching redwood forest on the hillside below me getting cut down by Maxxam's Pacific Lumber (PL).
This year on my birthday, I went to court for a hearing in the lawsuit brought against me and about 30 others for the crime of watching and opposing PL's destructive clear-cutting, (or for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, as in the case of some of my co-defendants). Five of us have filed counter lawsuits against PL, and the extractors who forcibly removed us from ancient trees PL intended to (and in most cases, did) cut down.
The issue before the court on Monday was whether it was lawful for Brian Carter, attorney for the extractors, to disqualify Judge W. Bruce Watson. The move to disqualify came just two days after a Dec. 6 hearing in front of Judge Watson, who indicated he would grant permission for citizens sued by PL to file counter-lawsuits.