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Chelsea Gerlach a& Suzanne Savoie are informants

ELP Information Bulletin (4th of June 2006)
Dear friends

Based on information sent to us by some of the Oregon 16 defendants, as well
as statements by lawyers close to the cases, and looking at the proceedings
at the 2nd of June 2006 bail hearing for Nathan Block and Joyanna Zacher,
ELP is removing Chelsea Gerlach from our prisoner list. We are also
withdrawing our support for Suzanne Savoie (who is currently on bail).

Chelsea Gerlach and Suzanne Savoie have both been named by some of their
co-defendants, as well as by some of the lawyers, as cooperating with the
authorities which has included making statements against others.

We have no yet confirmed the full extent of their cooperation with the
authorities (and there may be others who they have named), but we have
confirmed that both Gerlach and Savoie have made statements against Nathan
Block and Joyanna Zacher.

ELP will naturally release more information about this as our investigation
continues. In the meantime should anyone have any information about the
full extent of Gerlach and Savoie's cooperation with the authorities, please
contact ELP as soon as possible.


British Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407

homepage: homepage: http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk

However SHOULD check on full circumstances 04.Jun.2006 05:16

Mike Novack stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

Unfortunately not easy to determine at such an early stage.

Nobody who was willingly and knowingly involved should cooperate. That's the Ethics of a situation like this. HOWEVER -- it is often possible for a person to have been involved without proper knowledge and for what they would have been unwilling BUT with that person still criminally liable for the "abet". For example -- they were told and so thought they were abetting some minor illegal act. Under THESE circumstance their obligations would be different depending upon the extent that the people whose prosecution they are cooperating with deceived them.

What full circumstances? 04.Jun.2006 06:30


Actually, it is quite clear at this point. The arrests of many people were directly and plainly based on statements made by Chelsea and Suzanne to the feds.

If you have more conclusive info post it 04.Jun.2006 10:32


If you have more substantial info please post it. What you have laid out so far sounds like the same kind of flimsy witch hunt the gov is pursuing to try to rattle people loose and get them to turn on friends who never gave up info in the first place. Some one told me that someone else told them that.....or ...your friend over there has given us a lot of info. We're going to take you down if you don't give us something to work with.

Good people can be taken down by careless accusations. I can't know one way or the other what the truth is but this path should be walked down very very carefully and of course appropriate action taken if the accusations are deemed correct.

BTW, no activist deserves an abetting charge because someone else decided shoplifting fit their 'ethics code'

CLDC 04.Jun.2006 12:31


The CLDC website has extensive notes from Nathan and Joyanna's bail hearing.

Please have a look and come to your own conclusions. Or if anyone else who was at the hearing would like to weigh in, please do.

let the tragicomedy continue 04.Jun.2006 13:05

does community exist?

What I think is the most laughably sad part of this whole thing is that idealists who are apparently nothing more than ideologues are so eager to pass judgement on how people are behaving in this unprecedented chain of events. People who purportedly admired these actions, but did nothing themselves, are making or breaking the communities access to information about the lives of "the snitches" who are now in the majority.

Give Chelsea and Suzanna and Kevin, et al, a break. For all we know, those of us who haven't read the discovery, all of this info came from Jake Ferguson in the first place. Remember him? He wore a body wire for two years to get people to incriminate themselves on tape. He named at least 60 people to the feds. For what? Money and drugs and avoidance of charges...and to go down in history as the guy who allowed the FBI to crow about their successful long-term investigation and interagency cooperation.

For all we know, they injected the "snitches" with sodium pentathol and got them to nod their heads a tape recording.

I thought I was cynical before...and now I am wondering if community exists at all.

they are under stress and god knows they could be getting bad legal council 04.Jun.2006 13:57


Yeah, my god. Let's please wait to pass judgement. These people are under HUGE amounts of pressure and god know's what they are being told. We do not know how they are being pressured by their lawyers. Having no compassion for these folks is not going to help. They are going through hell. Making choices in there situation would be really hard.

Sabrina a slandering gov. insider or correctly passing on exagerated info? 04.Jun.2006 16:36


Sabrina Said 'Actually, it is quite clear at this point. The arrests of many people were directly and plainly based on statements made by Chelsea and Suzanne to the feds.' So far nothing posted on this site makes this clear. Please clarify how you draw this conclusion, especially the inflamatory 'many people directly and clearly'.

One has to wonder if this is not a concerted smear campaign by the authorities to rob these people of their support structure so they will cave where they have not yet caved. Even the notes from the triel left only the 'note takers' suggestion that this information came from these two women. So far there is no evidence presented, just supposition unfounded to date on this site.

I appreciate that people 04.Jun.2006 19:07


are taking a step back from this info and questioning it. One thing that has bothered me about activist communities is that I sometimes see a reactionary and unquestioning attitude taken towards an accusation such as this. It's important to find out the truth before ousting someone from their support network. Imagine if you were in their place. Imagine if the gov't or someone else twisted something that you had said, and you found yourself not only in the fight of your life in court, but seen as a pariah in your community.

Agreed serious allegations need factual support 04.Jun.2006 19:31

n squared

Your silence on this matter will be deafening. Your support for these allegations please.

repost 04.Jun.2006 22:00


These are the notes from the CLDC website. Anyone else who was at the hearings this week, please speak up if you do not agree with this account.


Joyanna and Nathan were denied release in front of Judge Coffin. Below, please find my complete notes regarding information disclosed at the hearing.

Of note, Jake Ferguson's lawyer, Ed Spinney sat in the audience to watch this hearing. Judge Coffin started by indicating he had rec'd a revised 6/1 pretrial report recommending detention in light of new info provided from the feds. Both feds and defendants also filed supplemental materials since the 5/30 hearing. Judge indicated pretrial report stated that there are 3 cooperating witnesses who have stated that D's (hereinafter referring to Joyanna and Nathan) participated in spiking 125 trees in 39 acres with nails and spikes, some of them then covered with moss. Judge indicated the D's were described as being willing to participate in increased violence according to their codefendants and that the D's were close associates of Bill Rodgers who killed himself in jail. Co-d's told the feds that D's and Rodgers conducted target practice together.

Storkel, Nathan's attorney, wanted Engdall to go first, so he did. Engdall indicated: he will focus on escalation of violence by these D's and discuss the Judie timber sale spiking. Five cooperating co-conspirators specified that Block was closely associated w/ Avalon. According to one female co-D who has known Avalon for about 10 years (read: Chelsea G) has stated that Avalon had a philosophy of violence and that another female co-conspirator (read: Susan S.) told them during the winter/january 2001 bookclub meeting a philosophical discussion took place about escalating the use of violence and targeting of researchers for assassination. Avalon had a conversation w/ a co-conspirator where he advocated assassination by motorcycle drive-by shooting of targets.

After the Jefferson Poplar and UW arsons, a meeting took place in Olympia at the home of Block. Avalon helped Block set up a marijuana grow. A Female co-conspirator (CG or SS) told feds that Avalon and othes believed in hurting people for the greater good. Female co-c (SS) stated that Joy and Nathan admitted shooting w/ Avalon while she (SS) was visiting them in Olympia. At the final meeting of the bookclub in 2001 talk was of escalation of violence, feds indicate Joy and Nathan were there, but cannot credit them w/ any statements about violence at all.

Engdall then hands up ex. 20 (which sharp moves to seal subsequently) which appears to be a letter written by Joy to an exboyfriend. They claim the letter shows she has significant mental health issues, talked of a troubled and abusive relationship w/ Nathan (completely untrue according to both) and that she was suicidal.

The trial then moved onto the Judie timber sale tree spiking of 2/20/01, which took place after the Monsanto GE wheat action of 8/00 and before the OSU GE action of 3/01 (this is most likely all from Suzanne Savoie informing). The group is said to have used a female cooperating codefendants truck for the action. They each carried a backpack full of spikes from 8-10" long where they spiked trees all day long. hard work. Evidence found by investigators in units 6 &8 near Cottage Grove, Oregon, includes some spikes which were obvious and others which were not. Some were covered by moss to avoid detection. Most were located from ground level to 7 ft. Some of the spike heads were clipped to hinder removal or detection.

After the action, the group including Joy and Nathan went to a cooperating co-defendants fathers residence where they sat in his hot tub after their hard day of work. Subsequently, after the defense attorneys spoke, Engdall had to admit that a communique was issued that specifically warned which units were spiked, how they were spiked and stated that it was now up to Senaca Jones and its accomplices the Forest Service to protect the safety of their workers. signed by the ELF.

Nathan's attorney, Storkel, then spoke about nicknames; no evidence of plot to kill or shoot; and 5 yrs gone by when nothing happened. He mentioned the feds have lots of bad stuff on Avalon, but nothing specifically about Joy and Nathan. He also stated that Nathan has a personal philosophy to never harm humans. He later made some statements about how young Nathan was, to which judge interjected that they were all so young which is the tragedy in these cases.

Bill Sharp, Joy's attorney, focused on the 5th amendment and due process clause as well as bail reform act. overall he did a good job; focused on how long the D's knew of the December arrests and stayed where they were. They were arrested at home w/out weapons, used their true names, and never hid. He also asserted that Suzanne Savoie has admitted to the tree spiking and she is on release (Coffin interjected that he did not hear anything about spiking at the time of her release, which is true. She is the one that disclosed that information to the feds after her release).

Sharp then discussed that the feds had mentioned that McGowan set the "gold standard", and that although he wishes McGowan the best and wishes him no ill will, McGowan used three aliases, was active in environmental activism until his arrest, and made a statement about flight to canada. He then pointed out that Joy and Nathan did not have those issues and are only alleged to have been involved for 1/2 of 2001 and don't know hardly any of the co-d's. And no harm to human life did actually occur.

Coffin interjected about a vietnam era arson at the University of Wisconsin where a graduate student was working in a building believed to be vacant when bomb was set and student was killed.

Engdall now assertsed that Nathan's other nickname is Hasam (sp?) and that in arabic, hasa (?) means assassin or killer...

Coffin then states that D's supporters allege that feds are being too harsh and overcharging while the feds allege the D's are ecoterrorists. He believes these are arson cases pure and simple. Whether it was a planned parenthood clinic, a southern church, or these incidents, they are just like any other arson case: serious offenses, crimes of violence and that it is a tragedy that so many of the D's are so young. He then stated that he beleives that the paramount issue is safety of the community, and he does not believe there are conditions that will ensure the safety of the community and therefore he cannot release the D's.

He went on to state that he believes the crimes were committed to achieve an agenda, not for profit, which does not justify the conduct at issue. and that the D's were acting out of a belief system putting them on the moral high ground causing them to feel that they were above the law in achieve their agenda.

He ended by saying they were free to try and work it out w/ pretrial and they can come back and try again if warranted.

I don't really understand what the 04.Jun.2006 23:21


statements about "believing in violence" are about, like that's a huge deal here. Are these people being tried for their beliefs, or their actions?

I know there are LOTS of Americans who would hurt someone if someone or something they loved was threatened. We don't live in a pacifist society.

Does the First Amendment mean anything?

Does the First Amendment mean anything? 05.Jun.2006 05:45

dot konnector

not in the United States of Israel.

to the poster "?" 05.Jun.2006 07:33


in the case of a bail hearing, of course they are being "tried" for their beliefs. This isn't an attempt to convict them of something, it's an attempt to discover whether or not they are too dangerous to be let out before trial. Now, don't get me wrong, the whole move of keeping them in jail is bullshit, and certainly part of the method they are using to try and pressure people into informing (by keeping them ignorant of all of the people who are supportive, for example). But yes, at a bail hearing, peoples personal beliefs are quite important.

Why I have always "voted" for removing Chelsea 05.Jun.2006 16:10


I was strongly in favor of outing Chelsea as an informant before the hearing CLDC posted about, although that's also good information. There are three defendants that I know of whom Chelsea has made statements against. Any anyone who is following this case knows, most of the defendants are extremely zip-lipped about who is informing on them, and so they do not want to come out with their own statements if may hurt their pending cases. While I do personally wish that people would just come out with naming names, I respect the request for privacy from the defendants.

Get real 05.Jun.2006 17:11

the big picture

It saddens me to see people passing judgement without having the full story here. We know that the gov't has been targeting eco-activists AND we know that they condone and defend torture AND we know that the U.S. gov't has killed more reporters last year than ever before. These things DO intersect --- people may not only be imprisoned, but may also be tortured or raped. Unless you've been through that before, I don't think you should be passing judgement. I think you should wait for the full story. I would also add that you are creating a greater security risk by targeting these individuals. Perhaps they only pleaded guilty, but didn't give info. on others? When you publicly shame and harrass them, you are creating a potential enemy.... one who might squawk even louder after feeling they have been treated unfairly.

Playhing right into their hands 05.Jun.2006 17:36

Matt from the East Coast

Congrats--if the state is attempting to split the movement, you've just played right into their hands by denouncing these two people, particularly without talking with them. Grow up.

Sabrina- Who the fuck are you? 06.Jun.2006 09:36

Giddy Cat

I've read your story here... it doesn't add up. Throwing Chelsea to the fire? You 'suspected" her for some time? What are YOUR motives here? to whom in this case are you closely tied?
please post... in detail... why you suspected her!
Let us all see the deductive reasoning behind this accusation... Without it, I think most intelligent folk who read this think you are trying to hoodwink us.

Please explain why she is STILL in jail... without bail. Who helps the Gov't to sit and rot in their cage?

I ask again... Why are you after these 2?

Who are you supporting? 06.Jun.2006 09:38


You all need to realize that when all is said and done, they're all going to end up being found guilty and they're all going to end up snitching on each other. It's not what I wan't to happen, but it is happening right now, and what is going to happen. Even if the community was to rise up and stop this insane punishment schedule they have in plan, most arrested are going to spend the rest of their life in prison.

What then? Are you really going to pull your support from the only people who were brave enough to do what you have not been able to do? Just be cause they snitched? I hate to say it, but support the snitchers for at least they did the crime, or the government wins this battle.

What's more important to you: your honor in regards to disliking snitching, or your honor in regards to standing up for the earth?

Feeding the trolls 06.Jun.2006 15:19


That announcement was not written by me, it was sent out by the Earth Liberation Support Network. I should have just listed the group as the poster. If you don't want to believe that an eco-prisoner support nerwork that has been around for over a decade has anything valid to say about anything, you're in the minority. And, if you don't want to believe three defendants in this case, at least two attorneys, and many people who have been present during court proceedings. (Must be my own nutty conspiracy and I've somehow convinced dozens of the most respected people in the movement and prisoners whom I've never met of it, eh? I must be a supergenious if I have that kind of brainwashing power.)

The reason that Chelsea and many other informants are still in jail is proof of her innocence? You ask me who the fuck I am, but you don't even understand how these cases ALWAYS work, which anyone who's followed activism for more than a few months should be aware of. The big myth about being a snitch is that somehow, you'll get off if you just send enough of your friends to prison. Chelsea and the other informants will still see years in prison for their admitted involvement in these actions. Remember folks, no one gets freed for blaming their friends, they just get very small reductions in their sentences.

And, I will absolutely "divide the movement" when it comes to dividing informants from the rest of us. These cowards are sending good people to prison, possibly for the rest of their lives. That is the kind of element that absoultely needs to be divided out.

But, as with all cases of informants, there are always a pack of cutesy little liberals who believe that "we" as a movement should love and respect people who send other people to prison willfully and maliciously, on the grounds that "we" are supposed to love everyone to be a cuter, lovier scene. If your goal is simply to love everyone and be a pointless hippie, then supporting informants is the thing to do. If your goal is building an eco movement for the betterment of the planet and all its inhabitants and to offer solidarity to fallen friends, then you wouldn't waste your time arguing that the poor informants need love, too.

some things 06.Jun.2006 16:52


I'd like to mention a couple facts:

1.) Stan Meyerhoff and Kevin Tubbs are still in jail.

2.) Chelsea Gerlach has a public defender (unlike the majority, if not all of the other co-defendants). She's had charges added to her indictment twice since December 7th, which was six months ago tomorrow.

There's an issue of trust on multiple levels when it comes to speaking on informing. We're on the internet, we're speaking about a very complex court case with very high stakes. It has been said already that defendants do not want to be in the position of outing informants. But through the course of discovery they're going to find out things that we don't know, and won't know until the trial. We're hearing some things in hearings. This last hearing the judge himself mentioned a statement by Suzanne Savoie. But this hearing did not really prove anything about Chelsea as far as I can tell. However, she is cooperating. To what extent I think only her, her lawyer and the government know. You are going to have choose if you want to trust ELP based on their based past work, though I agree that Sabrina's tone and sniping at other people in the group puts them in a not so great light. (Please take that elsewhere. You're doing no one any favors.)

When I first learned about Suzanne and Chelsea I was upset. I still am. I have spent a bit of time thinking about these two women, and I really feel for them, in particular Chelsea. She's in a very very tough spot. Until the trial happens, we do not know what effect each informant's cooperation will have. And I think trashing her and Suzanne in the meantime is not really going to accomplish anything except dividing people. People should make up their own minds about the kind of support work they want to do, and do it. Please focus on the positive, more work gets that done and remember: there are people pleading not guilty. I chose to base my support on their being good people who do not deserve life plus hundreds of years in prison.

To quote Sabrina from a different thread: "In the letter I got from him [Darren Thurston] two days ago, he wrote, "I have a question for you and ELP. If a defendant incriminates defedants that have already snitched on others in order to cooperate and avoid doing 80 years in prisoner are they still a snitch?"

Most defendants have public defenders 06.Jun.2006 17:55

few can afford private attorneys

In response to the last post...

Most of the defendants have public defenders, including Stan and Kevin. Only a few have the resources to afford private counsel. The attorney fees on a case like this would be well over $500,000.

get a fucking grip 08.Jun.2006 23:46


oh, the ridiculous claims! those who refuse to support informants and cowards don't know what solidarity is! those who act upon good information are actually government agents! while denying the informants are actually informants, those in question cooperated because they were injected with drugs or tortured!

get a fucking grip!

chelsea, stanislas, jacob, suzanne, kevin, and kendell were not tortured and they weren't injected with drugs, for fuck's sake. while the US government does use torture and drugs to get defendents to talk, there is no historical precedent of this happening to white environmental activsts or any white activist since the 60s. yes, guantanamo and covert cia torture cells exist, but lets not insult the pain and suffering of the people, ranging from poor afghanis to black panthers, who have actually undergone this brutality, by claiming that those cooperating in this case did so for any other reason than cowardice.

it's true that the informants are facing crazy amounts of jail time. but its also true that had they all chosen to remain quiet, EVERYONE's chances would have improved, considering that most of the initial evidence came from the oh-so-reliable testimony of a heroin addict who had implicated himself in most of the cases! the state relies on informants for a bulk of its evidence. if people could shut the fuck up, the state would become starved of evidence, and the ridiculous charges it piled on to scare defendents into talking in the first place would start to dissolve...but, this isn't the first and it won't be the last time that people will betray their own principles and condemn others to a terrible fate for the mere promise that their own charges may be reduced or their sentences lowered. sabrina is right, most of the time informants serve only incrimentally lower sentences, and in some cases, significantly more time!

why oh why should the community show solidarity to those who are so willing to betray the community? every single resistance group in history has struggled with the issue of informants and snitches, some more successfully than others. not a single one, from the black panthers (rather unsuccessful) to the maquis (french resistance in ww2 that was successful), condoned or defended informants or snitches in their ranks. they saw them for what they were, that is, a liability. if those today are willing to sell out others, why wouldn't they tomorrow? as communities in resistance, why would we support those who have made the choice to aid the state and help prosecute other activists?

withdrawing support from someone is not irreversible. we must act on reasonably good information when it comes to us, otherwise we are ostriches with our heads in the sand. but more importantly, we MUST SUPPORT those who have not betrayed others, those who are steadfast and resolute in their principles, and are heading into trial. daniel, joyanna, nathan, and jonathan, are who we need to be supporting, because now they will face the lies of all the others who are pointing fingers. there are over 25 events in north america during the weekend of resistance against the green scare this weekend. people need to stop wringing their hands about the informants, and they need to start actively supporting those who are unwilling to cooperate, because now they need our help more than ever!

Accountability 10.Jul.2006 14:29


The circumstance in which these defendants find themselves is indeed sad. But it was also anticipated. The so-called "Family" had to have discussed among themselves the entire issue of turning State's evidence, and the circumstantial ethics of what to do if another among them turned.

Darren Thurston: "I have a question for you and ELP. If a defendant incriminates defedants that have already snitched on others in order to cooperate and avoid doing 80 years in prisoner are they still a snitch?" The answer is that one cannot trust, without absolute proof, State assertions about other defendents.

The question was raised: "Please explain why she is STILL in jail... without bail. Who helps the Gov't to sit and rot in their cage?" The answer is: people who are being squeezed to make a very bad deal sit in jail awaiting their own exploitation. The lack of bail is just more leverage to ensure the testimony the Gov't expects.

Judgments that are made based on this or that development frequently become obsolete. When the defendants were initially arrested, one family said the relative they knew and loved wouldn't do these things. Did that mean that the relative wasn't the person they knew and loved if the accusations are somewhat true? Of course not!

We all have much to be sad about with regard to the coercive power of the State, and the exploitation of betrayal by others to justify one's own betrayal. Legally, the bargain any witness has made should be admissible evidence in the defense of others. It will be a sad commentary if no defendant takes this to trial.

Finally, I want to recognize the assertion that regardless of what deals are made from within the belly of the beast, some of these people did, if the accusations are true, act upon their convictions.

Turncoats 24.Jul.2006 14:53


Darren Thurston's question is bullshit: "If a defendant incriminates defedants that have already snitched on others in order to cooperate and avoid doing 80 years in prisoner are they still a snitch?"

Prosecutors don't make deals for evidence they already have. Fucking Duh! One man has already killed himself rather than turning against his comrades, and others are on the run. To utter one word against someone still fighting for their freedom is the lowest of the low.

Calm Down 28.Jul.2006 12:27


Outraged! seems to be spouting the sentiments of a true arm-chair revolutionary. Hey, Outraged!, how many months did you spend rotting in your cell, knowing that two of your unnamed cohorts, er, that is, Comrades, had turned you in? Did you remain silent for the cause? Why? And did he commit suicide to avoid turning against his partners in crime, or out of embarrassment for getting caught? Did he even commit suicide at all?
How can they be fighting for their freedom? What seems to be lost in this discussion thread is that crimes were committed by these people and they need to pay the consequences. Is someone oppressing them now for their beliefs or for their crimes?
I can't agree with the overkill sentences, though. They should be more reflective of the severity of the crimes - certainly no more than seven years for those most frequently involved.

Fighting For Freedom 01.Aug.2006 23:31


There are people who may still have choose to exercise their rights to speedy trials, forcing the state to produce evidence above and beyond the snitches they've already turned. I don't need to admit to any personal experience to assert that I sympathize, if not emphathize (this is public, after all), with the plight of those being coerced to plead and betray.

But there are those who may still want to go to trial, and they shouldn't have to disprove the testimony of snitches as the main body of evidence. There are also fugitives, who would clearly be the target of disclosures and testimony sought by prosecutors. These people who are cooperating with the State didn't realize the error of their ways and surrender volitionally; they got caught - and only then did they start playing "let's make a deal" with their own principles and loyaltys.

As for Mr. Rodgers, I don't dismiss what I consider to be a reality that prisoners are killed in jails all too routinely, but his note was evidentiarily persuasive. For the Vail fire to be entirely blamed on him now that he's dead (right; he did it all by himself) demonstrates the convenience of these betrayals, and the whorish gluttony of the prosecutors.