Text from Rogue.indymedia.org
As dawn broke on the Green Bridge over the Illinois River near Selma this morning, 75 people gathered to block old growth reserve logging at the Fiddler Timber Sale. Forest Service law enforcement officers and Josephine County Sherrifs escorted loggers to the site at 6:30 am where they encountered a large crowd effectively blocking all access to the sale units.
After issuing an order to disperse, 72-year-old Selma resident Joan Norman sat in the middle of the bridge, refusing to move. "We have no laws in our forest so we will be the law," said Norman, before law enforcement officers carried her off to be arrested, charging her with interfering with an agricultural operation. Two other individuals were arrested at the Green Bridge.
As the caravan of law enforcement and loggers moved beyond the blockade at the Green Bridge, they encountered more trouble approximately four miles up the road. At a bend in the road, three forest defenders were locked down to a red pickup truck cemented into the road.
Using a tow truck, a power saw, and bolt cutters, law enforcement officers were able to remove the three people locked to the vehicle. Five other people passively resisted being removed from the blockade site and were arrested.
With the blockades removed, loggers were able to move to the lower units of the Fiddler sale and began falling trees. Ten to twelve loggers worked a shortened day, falling numerous large trees in the heavily burned unit.
Fiddler is one of five old growth reserve sales in the Biscuit Fire area opened to loggers by this morning's court mandate. On Wednesday, March 9, Federal District Judge Michael Hogan will hear a motion for a temporary restraining order to stop logging. Another court case is scheduled for late March.
In the meantime, Silver Creek Logging Co. plans to continue falling trees at Fiddler before a judge can weigh in on the merits of the case. Forest defenders vowed to continue demonstrating against these controversial sales.