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forest defense

Portlanders rally downtown to demand immediate cessation of logging in The Biscuit

About 50 people gathered downtown this afternoon in front of the Forest serVice Building to demand that all logging end in the Biscuit Fire area of the Siskiyou region. Currently, the Bush Administration's Forest serVice, with the cooperation of most elected Democratic Party officials, is attempting to subject the area to the largest timber sale ever. Using bad science and misleading rhetoric, friends of the lumber industry in Washington D.C. have presented the plan as a way of preventing fire. This, despite the findings of Fire Ecologists who have shown that natural burns are an essential component of forest health, and that the federal timber sale program is nothing more than corporate welfare.

A visiting activist from the Siskiyous described the forest in the Biscuit as "beautiful, green and lush. You don't need a degree to see it's a healthy forest. Already new trees taller than us are growing where they want to bulldoze." (The activist was on stilts while making this observation.) In reference to the Forest serVice's apprisal of the area, which they erroneously claim needs to be logged, the activist added, "We don't believe their lies."

the crowd
the crowd
cable access reporter (yay, independent media!)
cable access reporter (yay, independent media!)
few cops at event
few cops at event
Sandi from BARK addresses the crowd
Sandi from BARK addresses the crowd
It was a small group, but spirited. Less than a week's notice was given for the event, but organizers were happy with the turn-out. Describing another rally for the Biscuit in Selma, Oregon, on Feb 5th, one of the organizers said, "We are not the radical fringe. We represent the mainstream opinion. N one wants to log old growth trees."

Sandi from BARK took Sen. Ron Wyden to task for doing nothing about the Biscuit. "Where is he in all this? He is nowhere. Personally, I'm fed up. He presents himself as Mr. Environmentalist and gets political capital for doing nothing. He is silent and I want to hold him accountable." Sandi encouraged everyone to call Wyden's office to demand he use the power of his office to do something. Wyden's number in Portland: 503.326.7525

Sandi also thanked everyone who attended and asked them to take other steps, such as visiting the area youself, where she assured the crowd that people and groups could plug you in once you arrive.

Is there any hope to stop the logging? The current situation is grim; despite the fact that a court case re. the legality of the logging won't begin until March 22, timber companies are being allowed to start cutting now. The court denied a legal request from activists for an injunction stopping logging until March. One of the activists on stilts said, "The only option left is to put our bodies between the machines and the trees." The activist then told the story that recently loggers were unable to do any cutting because trenches had been dug across the road. Yay, direct action!

Rolf Skaar of the Siskiyou Project stressed the importance of badgering elected officials. "We crushed Senator Smith's lawless logging rider... because the people still have the power!"

The message from the day was clear: "Do something!" Be it direct action, lobbying, or whatever else, but please take a stand and help to save the Biscuit.

--

After the rally, i went down to the Greyhound station and bought a ticket so i can go down there to the Biscuit myself. This issue has got me hoppin' mad, and i need to do something. We'll see what happens when i get there! i also stopped by Ron Wyden's office on Broadway on the way home and delivered a message in person. The woman i spoke to said they'd been getting "a lot of calls", which was good to hear.

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post script about the cops 08.Feb.2005 17:55

Hummingbird

i forgot to mention it, but i also wanted to note that there were only 2-3 cops in front of the forest service during the entire event. there was also a cruiser on the street, with a cop sitting in it. but they were all mellow. in fact they were willing to joke around with people a little bit about a toy police car that someone set at their feet.

this marks the third time since Potter was elected mayor and Alan Graf won the $300k lawsuit against the city that i've detected a difference in how the police are behaving. the've definitely been mellower, and have even been willing to say "hi" back to you. quite a difference from the old Katz/Kroeker days. i'm grateful for this change, though of course i'm cautious not to put too much stock in it yet. we'll have to see how things go.

Exception 08.Feb.2005 18:13

gk

One cop told a photographer of our group to move out of the car parking area where he was standing to take pictures. It's a control issue, you see.

cop behavior 09.Feb.2005 13:31

a cop

I think the departure of Kroeker and Katz has more to do with the changes (and I have seen changes on the occasions when I run into PDX cops in the course of my duties) than the lawsuit. Us cops generally are not afraid of lawsuits, because that cash comes out of the city's coffers, not our paychecks. In PDX, the cops are not even in danger of losing their jobs over the lawsuit, because the union protects them. So until people start suing individual officers, cops generally are just not scared of lawyers.

But if you have a powerful change in leadership (Kroeker was very influential in how the rank and file saw their jobs, Katz was too), cops act different. This is pretty much the same for all jobs, have you ever had a McFastfood job? Ever notice that you acted differently to the customers when your asshole manager was on duty, as opposed to your cool one? You had a different outlook on things. Well Portland, you got rid of your asshole managers (mayor and chief), so your employees are going to be friendlier. They now have a different outlook.

Taking that same reasoning, did you personally feel like you were out five bucks when somebody demanded a five dollar refund because the food sucked? Nah, it wasn't your cash and it was probably not enough for you to notice a change. Take that 300k Graf won for the victims, and it comes out to less than a buck a day for each portland cop for the next year (there are about 1,000 cops in PDX, not counting civillian personel). That is IF it was going to come out of their salary, which is not the case. I am not saying the lawsuit was totally ineffective. That is not the case, because the cash is reportedly going to go to future police accountability stuff. I am just saying that the individual cops don't care one way or the other about such things any more than you care about giving a refund at work.

Hey there, a cop 09.Feb.2005 15:55

:-)

Thanks for your input. I have long said that there were a lot less jerks than good folks on the force, despite the adversarial mode of conduct advised by some folks out on the fringes. I appreciate your reasoned comments and think they do something to help promote understanding between the community and those who are sworn to protect it- the ones who mean it anyway. Keep it up

reply to a cop 10.Feb.2005 00:02

Hummingbird

good points, yes. i agree. i've had those jobs too and understand what you're saying.

but i think the $300k _does_ matter to the mayor and the city, and that might be part of the reason they're sending different vibes down to the men and women in blue.

Glad to help 11.Feb.2005 02:02

a cop

And you have a good point about the lawsuit cash mattering to the mayor, and that rolling downhill.

Back to the Forest 12.Feb.2005 01:45

RW

Photos of Biscuit Fire, enroute to Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, July 2004

Back to the Forest 12.Feb.2005 01:47

RW

More Photos of Biscuit Fire, enroute to Kalmiopsis Wilderness Area, July 2004

trees with no Kroeker 14.Feb.2005 18:38

Relief

sure glad that the Kroeker Kops are disappearing
now lets save the Trees

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