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Secret Footage Focus of Monday Hearing in Treesit Lawsuit

The battle over hidden "head cam" footage from 2003 treesit extractions goes back to court Monday.
Eureka, CA - A lawsuit between Pacific Lumber, former treesitters, and the "Extractors" hired to forcibly remove activists from old-growth redwoods to clear the way for logging will be back in court on Monday, December 19, 2005 at 1:30pm in Eureka.

The battle over footage shot by hidden cameras mounted on the helmets of treesit Extractors during the evictions of more than a dozen tree-top activists will take center stage at Monday's hearing. The court ruled in October that Extractor Eric Schatz should turn over copies of the controversial footage to Jen "Remedy" Card, who is one of five former treesitters suing Pacific Lumber and Schatz over the extractions.

The treesitters recently added a claim for Invasion of Privacy based on the secretly-recorded footage.

Schatz was ordered by Judge Quentin L. Kopp to produce the footage to Card by November 18, 2005, but Schatz refuses. Recent documents filed with the court by his attorney, Brian C. Carter, say that Schatz would rather "serve time in jail - for contempt - than turn over the videos as the court has ordered."

Schatz points to a 30-minute 2004 documentary entitled "Struggle in the Woods: Views of Extraction" which was narrated by Card as the reason he'd rather go to jail than abide by the court's orders. The documentary contains excerpts of footage from Schatz's hidden "head cam" during the brutal April 10, 2003 removal of treesitter Ramsey Gifford who was jumped on, choked and hung up-side by one leg down during the extraction. "Struggle in the Woods" also cites court documents that show Schatz's history of domestic violence.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Pacific Lumber in Humboldt County Superior Court in September 2002. Following the forced removals of treesitters from the Freshwater Creek area in March and April 2003, when nearly fifty people were arrested during protests against logging by Maxxam-controlled Pacific Lumber, dozens of names were added to the lawsuit. Five Treesitters removed by Schatz and his crew filed counter-suits in September 2004.

Pacific Lumber is represented by the law firm Mitchell, Brisso, Delaney & Vrieze. The Extractors are represented by Carter, Oglesby, Momsen and Bacik. Two of the treesitters are represented by Kosmal & Acosta, while the others represent themselves. Card recently retained attorney James W. Flower as associated counsel.