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forest defense | save the biscuit

"Grandma Joan" Spends 14th Day in Jail

Joan Norman is still incarcerated for her forest defense actions. Supporters are starting a fund-raiser:"Joanathon," raising money for each day she spends behind bars. Norman refuses bail; her next court date is April 25th.

Joan Norman, 72, of Cave Junction was arrested on March 14 during a demonstration blocking logging trucks from entering Fiddler Mountain, part of the Biscuit timber sale in the Siskiyou National Forest. This was Joan's second arrest that week. The courts revoked her conditional release due to her "repeat defender" status. There have been 48 arrests since logging began in Old-Growth reserves on March 7th; Joan Norman is the only activist to remain behind bars. Norman will not post bail as a matter of principle.
"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.

postcard mailed 28.Mar.2005 20:16


I mailed her a postcard today. It features a sunflower, the anti-nuclear symbol and for a warless world. I hope it makes her smile!

Get DOWN. 29.Mar.2005 09:21


I just contributed $20, my grocery money for the week. This woman, and those who are standing with her, are fighting one of our most important battles. And they're kicking ASS! This is direct action like I haven't seen since "the troubles" set in a couple of years ago. Thank God for strong women like Joan, and for everyone else who is already down there. And may the rest of us find our strength and get down there too.

jail address for joan 29.Mar.2005 10:29


Where can we write to Joan?

Yes please! 29.Mar.2005 10:43

Jail Address

PLEASE, can someone post the address where we can write to Joan? Jail support means a lot to people who are sacrificing their freedom for the rest of us.

Address for Joan 29.Mar.2005 11:22

Fiddler's Friend

The addres for writing to Joan is:

Joan Norman
c/o Josephine County Adult Jail
1901 NE F St.
Grants Pass, OR 97526

Letters and postcards should (unfortunately) be plain. Glue, stickers, crayon, perhaps even felt pen are prohibited and will not make it to Joan. You can see (some of) the rules at:  http://www.co.josephine.or.us/sheriff/Jail%20FAQ.htm

She's an amazing woman, and it's ridiculous for her to be held for this long for a freedom of speech issue, made in opposition to the logging at Fiddler Mountain. The phone numbers for the Josephine County Sherrif is: (541) 474-5140 Give em a call and let them know what you think... You can also call the sheriff's office at (541) 474-5123, if you don't think the jail is getting the message yet...

Correction 29.Mar.2005 11:27

Fiddler's Friend

That first phone number is for the jail, the second is for the sherrif's office.

Thank you Joan wherever you are 29.Mar.2005 21:33


When is Joan getting out? We should plan something where we can all be there to support her. It's not to often that we find people as brave as Joan.