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actions & protests | forest defense | save the biscuit

End logging in the biscuit, destroy the logging industry

Defend the wild. Do it right. Make your actions count.
Unfortunately, writing your senator is not going to do shit. Logging companies stand to make millions off of each of these timber sales, and a shabbily organized letter writing campaign at the request of a inneffective reformist environmental group is going to have a minimal (if that) effect. The only way to prevent the logging of more old growth in the biscuit is to physically prevent it from happening and by directly targeting the companies responsible in a way that will make them beg for forgiveness.

More people need to be in the Biscuit right now, defending in a way that will actually physically stop logging from taking place; not in some symbolic protest from your supposed moral highground of your lawn chairs. More people need to be on the roads, in the trees, on the bridges, and on the forest floor, defending the forest in the most literal sense. More people need to be on the doorsteps of the CEOs of the companies responsible, night and day, making their life hell; making them wish they had never heard of the Biscuit.

More importantly than stopping logging in the Biscuit, people need to be fighting to stop the logging industry. The only real way to do this is not by running from timber sale to timber sale, stopping what can be stopped, but by running these corporations into the ground. "It is time to stop adhering to inneffective tactical dogmatism," a wise friend once told me, "It is time to use tactics that work."
yah and 08.Mar.2005 23:16

Yahander Cliches

ok, you're right about the pro-active stuff, but for gawd's sake stop mocking the little old lady who got arrested in a lawn chair. we all do what we can, hopefully. holier than though radicalism doesn't point towards a better future, ok?

and for some people, contacting a senator is a big deal. for them, right on. support needs to be built for more direct action, but being snide like this post aint the way to do it. self-righteousness is a powerful relief from anguish, but butter on a burn feels good, too.

I hear what your saying but 09.Mar.2005 00:36

....

I challenge you to name one timber sale that has been stopped by this method -- on the contrary, I can think of many stopped by a some combination of civil disobedience, lawsuits, and a few even by political pressure. There have also been sales abandoned due to tree spiking.

There is some truth to the idea that enough economic pressure (from whatever means) can be mustered to make it worth a timber company asking for out on a sale -- but not always. Example: this was long the position of the logging company that was to log eagle creek, but the forest service wouldn't let them out of the contract.

Also keep in mind: on the macro-level the forest service exists explictly to provide earth-life-blood to these companies by providing extremely cheap, well tended timber. If the companies suffer economically, the forest service can compensate for them by liquidating it's assests (i.e., the forest) for their use. This is precisely what is happening in the biscuit right now; it's Bush's responce to falling timber over the past 15 years. So economic pressure alone, without a broader political solution (be it laws or revolution) isn't neccessarily the best answer.

Ultimately, short of revolution or broad changes in purchasing dynamics, economic/corporate pressure campaigns (whether boycotts or arsons) can only tinker with the players in the economic game. Sometimes this is enough to make a difference, in a certain place, at a certain time, but on a broader scale?

I'm encouraging of ideas of changing tactics, but you've got to present a more compelling argument than just saying "this way good, that way bad" or falling back on one-dimensional economics-pressure-is-always-best arguments.

While I agree that it is money motivating this entire process, it's far too simplistic to say that a focus on economics is the best/only solution just "because".

clarification 09.Mar.2005 09:39

a concerned citizen

"I challenge you to name one timber sale that has been stopped by this method"
While it is true that a timber sale has never been stopped by this method, no company has ever been targetted in this way. In addition, it is not the purpose of this tactic to target a company until they stop individual timber sales, the idea behind it is that companies be targetted until they are financially incapable of and its employees/executives personally unwilling of operating at all.

As environmentalists, we have a lot to learn from the animal rights movement. The SHAC (stop hungting animal cruelty) campaign has been hugely successful both in the united states and abroad. A relatively small group of determined activists have brought a huge multinational corporation to its knees in the past few years. The model advocated does not solely rely on financial damage to a company to put it out of business (although that is an important aspect), it has many facets, as was recomended above. Some ideas are: constant home demonstrations, and others that were previously unmentioned, such as targetting both subsidiaries and parent companies, targetting other companies who hold contracts with the logging company (until they refuse to do business with said company), targetting shareholders, brokers, financers, etc, finding sympathetic employees to release damaging inside information and/or assist in many other helpful ways, clogging the email, fax, telephone, and other communication lines, and doing everything humanly possible to find ways to impede on the way a company does business until it is no longer capable of it.

The point of this post is to introduce a new element to the discussion of tactics, not to curb opposing ideas. This way of targetting companies can absolutely complement and be complemented by the efforts of all other environmentalists, be it through the courts, publicity campaigns, or other forms of direct action.

In terms of simply relying on the tactics that have been used in the past, be them successful of not for individual timber sales, the fact is that there are still timber sales happening. The current method of attacking environmental destruction one timber sale at a time (while an important aspect of a larger campaign), is doing nothing to curb the destruction of the forests in the long run. As mentioned in the original post, "it is time to start using tactics that work." IT IS TIME TO WIN.

yes but 09.Mar.2005 10:41

---

I hear ya, but as I was trying to get at before, I see a number of problems here -- problems that are essentially characteristics of capitalism -- that make this strategy a limited -- useful in sometimes in some places -- rather than a boarder one.

Biggest problem I see: there are many, many timber companies...eliminate one and it's just making thing easier for another. The industry isn't going to just abandon logging because one player in it gets hit in some way. I'm willing to bet this is more true of the timber industry than the animal testing industry, which my guess is that it is more heavily concentrated (i.e., how many animal testing companies in the PNW vs. how many timber companies?).

The idea of "going after the whole industry" (as opposed to one company) sounds nice on paper, but what exactly does that look like? There isn't exactly limitless anti-corporate campaigners out there, and it's a huge industry. Industries don't like to be "elminated" and I don't believe there is any historical precident of an industry being "eliminated". Not that it's not possible, it's just not something that's been proven successful. SHAC is a great example, but can it be demonstrated that they have reduced animal testing per se? Even if they have somewhat, the real thing is they have reduced one companies role in it animal testing, not the overall strength of the industry, which, even if reduced by the SHAC campaign, will eventually recover as the beast grows another head so to speak.

Like I said earlier "Ultimately, short of revolution or broad changes in purchasing dynamics, economic/corporate pressure campaigns (whether boycotts or arsons) can only tinker with the players in the economic game."

This being said, I think there are important things to be gained from economic campaigns, and they are under used....but they aren't the be-all-end-all......

did ya know? 09.Mar.2005 11:12

some kid

how long it took the person in the lawn chair to be removed? Took co over an hour. I was locked into concrete 3 feet under the ground under a truck and it took me about 2 hours to be removed. Not to mention, co walks with the aid of a cane and can't stand for long periods of time. If what you have to offer is sitting in a lawn chair on a bridge then god-damnit get out there and sit in a lawn chair on the bridge. If you have more, give more. Less, give less. If people wanna go down there and hold picket signs by the side of the road, or just approach loggers and let them know that their employer doesn't give workman's comp insurance (it's true) then go do that.

PS: Don't be so ableist.
PPS: I do hear what you're saying, but if I knew how we could definitively halt logging I would've done it already. I'm just trying to slow the cogs down till the law can step in and give me a much-needed break, and when that happens, we prepare for the real war, when the law inevitably fails us.

another response 09.Mar.2005 13:44

a concerned citizen

In response to "some kid":
Again, the blocading of these roads is an important aspect of forest defense, but it is not sufficient in a wider strategy for ending the logging in the biscuit or elsewhere. The work you and the elderly person who took the bridge is absolutely necessary and appreciated. What is being argued is that we as a movement need to take a look at our tactics and strategy to do what will work in a more serious and long term way.
Never once did the original post mention anything about personal ability hindering efforts in the suggested strategy. There is always room for everyone to do whatever they feel they are capable of, no matter how small (or large) the task.
In response to the PPS, your comments are basically right on, that for now, slowing the cogs is a perfectly valid path to take, but it fails to look at the bigger picture.

In response to "--"
Excellent points. Although, while it is true that the capitalist system will do everything possible to prevent the demise of whole industries, targetting logging companies one by one is going to have a huge effect. While it would be amazing for people to the system of capitalism, it is (at this point) unlikely that any major changes could be made. On the other hand, shutting down logging companies is going to drastically hinder the destruction of our forests.
Taking a look at the animal rights movement. In England, where the modern direct action animal rights movement began, several companies involved in the fur industry, suppliers of animals for vivisection, and many more have been shut down through different campaings, drastically reducing the amount of torture animals go through, and the number of animals that go through it. Again, through the work that SHAC has done, a huge multinational has been brought to its knees.
If this model could be implemented here targetting logging companies, one by one, or perhaps different campaigns for different companies simutaenously, the effects could be monumental. Rather than letting the companies pick the battles (timber sales), we will bring the battle to their doors. Every aspect of the companies and of the executives' lives are to be targetted until the companies can no longer function and those who run it are no longer willing to.
What does it look like on an industry-wide level? It could take any number or forms, but what is important is that we start somewhere in taking action that can have a direct effect. Disputing your comments about other companies growing and picking up the slack of the targetted companies, (obviously we wont know for sure until it happens) it could be argued that this is not the case. As you will recall, when the timber sales were being auctioned off, the forest service was having a hard time finding bidders at all. While nobody can predict what will happen when logging companies are shut down, aside from a revolution (as you suggested) nothing is going to change the system in which these companies operate. Noting that, it is damn worth developing broader strategies that will absolutely be more effective than what is happening now and implementing those strategies against those who destroy the environment.