"I won't pay bail when I'm being jailed for protesting an unjust system - the destruction of our national forests," Norman said.
Joan remains active while incarcerated, boosting morale and raising consciousness among female inmates at the Josephine County Jail. She says, "I just talk to all the women about the light that shines within them, the light of goodness, their strength. Sometimes they are so grateful to hear that, they cry, and then I know I said the right thing." Norman has befriended many of the women at the jail, who call her "Grandma Joan."
When she's asked in a phone interview to talk about herself, Norman can get a little impatient, "This is not about me," she says indignantly, "This is about the forest! Ask me why I'm here."
Norman has put her body between the chainsaws and the trees to defend the once-protected Old-Growth forests in her own backyard. The Biscuit logging plan is the largest logging scheme in the history of the Forest Service. At risk are endgangered species habitat and Designated Roadless Areas.
Supporters are launching a "Joanathon" fund-raiser in her honor: "Joan is sacrificing her freedom, her access to fresh air and sunshine, each day that she is in jail. Her commitment to the defense of the forest is inspiring. I challenge us all to make a donation to the Biscuit Legal Fund in her honor. This money will contribute toward ongoing legal challenges against the Forest Service plan of destruction," said Shelley Elkovich of Ashland.
Contributions to the Biscuit Legal Fund can be sent to Rogue Federal Credit Union, 415 Lithia Way, Ashland, OR 97520.