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forest defense | save the biscuit

Forest Center Lockdown Report Back

At about 11:30am today, forest activists erected a giant tri-pod in the middle of 2nd Avenue, in front of the Forest Service building. They blocked traffic and made a ruckus to bring attention to the insane and illegal logging that is commencing down in the Siskiyous.
Thank God there are so many people willing to put their words, their freedom, and their bodies on the line in this great struggle for the last ancient forests in the world. It was awe inspiring to see so many people chanting, singing, and speaking out to save what is left of our planet.

Pax eloquently ministered to the crowd from his perch in the air above 2nd avenue, and the crowd chanted their support from the ground. A corporate "reporter" asked whether he knew he was about to be cut down and arrested, to which he replied that he did. The "reporter" then asked how he felt about it. Pax said, basically, that it sucked to have to be arrested, but that it was a small price to pay. He reminded the reporter -- who will never air the words I think -- that the last forests are falling, and desperate times call for desperate measures. The police moved in, blocking traffic and milling around for awhile, trying to figure out what to do. (All in all, I have to say, they behaved themselves quite well for a change, which has been their pattern only very recently. It's weird. These are the same people who have been glowering at me from behind riot masks and phallic weapons for years, but suddenly they almost look like Officer Friendly again. weird.)

Eventually, the police decided to bring in, inexplicably enough, the Bomb Squad. They arrived with a truckload of gadgetry, which they picked through for awhile, as the other officers cleared activists and supporters from the immediate area.

In a scene reminiscent of the keystone cops, a gaggle of officers donned welding masks, grabbed what looked like a whirring plastic saw, and attacked one leg of the pod. Even as the saws raged down at Biscuit, the little plastic doo-hinkey buzzed eagerly and then bent miserably as they pressed it against the leg. After a minute or so of that, the officers concluded that the toy saw wasn't going to work after all, so they put it away. Five or six of them then gathered around the bottom of the pod and put their little thinking caps on, and eventually came up with another plan. In the end, they all grabbed legs of the pod and spread them apart, lowering Pax to the ground in what was briefly a dangerous and scary moment.

Thankfully, he did not appear to be injured, in spite of the irresponsible manner in which the pod was disassembled. He was searched, partially disrobed, handled curiously by many officers, and at last hauled away in handcuffs.

It's sad that people need to sacrifice their safety and often their freedom to reach the deaf ears of the Forest Service and the complacent public, but it's heartening that they are willing to do so. Now, if only the complacent public will follow their lead. Studies consistently show that the public overwhelmingly supports saving the forests, that the vast majority of people are very much opposed to continued logging in old growth forests. Yet somehow, many of those people sit quietly at home while the trees are falling. Maybe this story will inspire them to get up and do something. The power is in our hands.
not just complacency 30.Mar.2005 16:21

citi zen

I'm not sure this is a case of people not caring as much as not being informed. People simply believe that old growth forests are protected and are not aware of the illegal actions being taken to log them. So I think overcoming complacency is not the problem. Once people understand that old-growth forests are really, in fact, being logged they will take action. Of course, I could be wrong but I think informing people is all that is needed to get people to take action. And if it doesn't, well, at least they won't be able to feign ignorance when questioned by future generations.

simpsons moment 30.Mar.2005 16:36

lenny

Reading the comment above I reflected on the statements made in one of the biscuit videos shown on monday in which a woman said something similar: that people not only want forests to be protected, they believe that they are. For some reason, this exchange from the simpsons popped into my head:

Lisa: "But dad, don't you think-"

Homer: "-Ah Lisa: The whole reason we have elected officials is so we don't have to think all the time. Just like that rain forest scare a few years back. Our officials saw there was a problem and they fixed it, didn't they?"

Lisa: "No dad, I don't think-"

Homer: "There's that word again."

Recap 30.Mar.2005 16:38

gk

Thanx for the recap of this fine protest! Unique! It just crumples my heart to know the Biscuit is being logged. I'd have been to this demo, but there was no advance notice & just learned about it now. Here's to the ferns, moss, birds, bees and trees. Carry on, protesters!

for gk 30.Mar.2005 16:51

foresty type

Sorry you couldn't make it GK! like many direct actions, the key to success is keeping the event on the low-down before hand, which is surely why it wasn't publized before hand. Come join folks at the skillshare this next week and get involved - you won't miss the action next time!

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/03/314311.shtml

report 30.Mar.2005 21:06

pod

Hey, I'm out of jail and at home with good food and good friends. With the exception of some harness-induced chaffing and bruising I'm in good physical shape. I want to thank everyone for their support while I was up there, it was very endearing. Between the trees supporting me spiritually and the people there both verbally and spiritually, I felt a great love. The cops treated me relatively well; there were even a few who secretly agreed with me about the issue, if not the tactics. I'm somehow only being charged with disorderly conduct. not like "blocking the road" or anything like that. Strange. Anyhoo, thank you for everyone who was there supporting me, or in the biscuit supporting me, or supporting me in whatever way they could.

Solidarity Forever,

pOd

Good work 30.Mar.2005 21:47

Mr. X

Great action and as a result the level of discussion on the Biscuit Salvage issue will be raised a notch higher. The FS surely didn't like that kind of attention and news reports of this action will shine the spotlight on region 6.

Happy you're home, Pax. 31.Mar.2005 06:39

Smiling

Thanks for letting us know how you're doing. It looked like they were being human beings for a change, but I was still worried. Hey, it looked like they were twisting your arms for a while there, though. Were they?

Just a side note 31.Mar.2005 07:54

FUCK the corporate media

Apparently, KATU (of Li2U fame) stated that the protest was over the logging of "fire killed trees." (See  http://www.katu.com/news/story.asp?ID=76137 if you want to read their blatant lies.) Despite the very articulate statements by everyone involved yesterday, and the stellar manner in which everyone was prepared and knowledgeable on the issue, KATU managed to (intentionally no doubt) mischaracterize the entire action. This is about a living, breathing forest. As was stated over and over again yesterday, and was even printed clearly on signs for anyone to read -- even someone toting a KATU cam -- the trees are ALIVE, and fire is part of a healthy forest. This is NOT about clearing away dead wood. This is about destruction of one more old growth forest. The people involved in this struggle have been very clear about that. But the corporate media continually mischaracterizes the issue in this manner.

If you want to know what this is really about, there are many ways to find out for yourself. You can watch the pdx video collective's "Truth & Lies of the Biscuit Fire," as well as a number of other videos from Biscuit shown by the collective. You can talk to the people at the Cascadia rising infoshop (see  http://www.cascadiarising.org/). Or best of all, you can get yourself down to the forest and see it (and fight for it) for yourself.

the cops and the media 31.Mar.2005 08:43

pOd

to answer the question about the police hurting me, they intentionally twisted my arms around when I told them I was going limp. Some people said that they thought the police were using pressure points, but they weren't. The only really really painful part of it was when they were using bolt cutters up against my wrist trying to cut the chains that bound my arms inside the gooey box, then when that wasn't working, they would clamp down (often on my skin), then twist the bolt cutters, forcing my arm into a spot smaller than an arm fits. They tried that around five times before I eventually unlocked from the gooey box.

KATU gave the worst report, with only a small snippit of a quote from us and 3 or so extensive quotes from our opposition. In a hillarious slip-up though, i'm shown getting arrested twice in their video without knowing it. They were discussing the protests in southern oregon and I guess their stock footage includes me getting arrested. Que comico!

We have a great need for help in the coming month 31.Mar.2005 08:56

Cascadia RiSiNG! EcoDefense

Our struggle is getting very hot, but always we are stretched thin in what we're trying to accomplish. There's a roadshow promoting forest activism traveling the West Coast, and we need help creating a great show in Portland to spread the word about all the stuff going on this summer, and fund-raise for a bunch of groups. See a description of what we're looking for at  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/03/314578.shtml

Fuck the Corporate Media 31.Mar.2005 10:02

Jason

Fuck the corporate media!

They are liars and cowards and will not tell the truth. They hide behind the idea of impartiality, but what they are really hiding is their fear of asking real questions and reporting the real story, of caring and getting involved. With few exceptions, the corporate media reporter is no longer a journalist. They have become little more than a cog in the corporate machine. Going to a press conference, collecting a few sound bytes, and passing those sound bytes on to the public in slick form. Particularly when 'reporting' government and corporate statements, they act as the PR firm for them.

They have sold their souls. They will not work for social and environmental justice. They cower in their little cubicles, failing in their responsibility to inform the public. The smart public would take away their priviledge of using our airwaves because they are doing nothing on behalf of the common good.

Cascadia RiSiNG! EcoDefense is not the Cascadia Rising Infoshop! 31.Mar.2005 10:11

Cascadia Rising EcoDefense

thanks for the suggestion "FUCK the corporate media":

"You can talk to the people at the Cascadia rising infoshop (see  http://www.cascadiarising.org/). Or best of all, you can get yourself down to the forest and see it (and fight for it) for yourself."

But PLEASE remember everyone, the CR infoshop ( link to www.geocities.com).

We're all friends, and yes, we know it's confusing, but please take note that we are 100% seperate projects...

Oops! 31.Mar.2005 10:45

FUCK the corporate media

"But PLEASE remember everyone, the CR infoshop (  link to www.geocities.com).

We're all friends, and yes, we know it's confusing, but please take note that we are 100% seperate projects..."

Oops. Yeh, I knew that, I just got all stressed out over it, thinking, all right, lessee here. Must make sure to put the right site, not that other site. And so I got the site right, but I got the other part wrong! I meant Cascadia Rising EcoDefense, and wrote infoshop. mea culpa. You know, it was all so much less confusing when it was just CFA. (Grin.)

Might I add that both projects are awesome!

ia gr ee 31.Mar.2005 13:44

antianti_

yes fuck the corperate media I think we should organize people to boycott the media for it is only a profit making machine designed by the powers of capitalism designed to mislead the poor into thinking their position in society is "okey." If more people don't use alternative sources of media we're only going to be drowning further into this shit-hole that weve been sinking in for years

yes... you did 31.Mar.2005 20:37

sandra

well that sure is a show-stopper.

Traffic needs to be blocked 01.Apr.2005 20:00

Darnelle

If saving old growth thru legislation was working, why does this illegal logging still continue?