On Friday, November 24, the busiest shopping day of the year (also called "Buy Nothing Day"), over a dozen members of Cascadia Forest Defenders and the UO's Forest Action held a protest rally at the Victoria's Secret store in the Valley River Center in Eugene, to call attention to Victoria's Secret's practice of mailing out over 1 million catalogs a day, amounting to 300 trees cut daily from the world's endangered forests, such as the Boreal forest of Canada and Siberia.
Some of the protesters were scantily clad in lingerie, some held recycled cardboard chainsaws and cut-out trees, while others held signs saying "How many trees died for your panties?" "A million catalogs a day cut from old growth forests" "You don't have to cut trees to sell your panties" and "Victoria's Dirty Secret: 300 trees a day sent to landfill for catalogs."
Due to a tip from the media (none of whom were present during the rally), almost a dozen private security officers and one Eugene police officer were waiting at the Victoria's Secret store at noon to stop the legal protest before it happened. Before the protesters had even handed out any information or took out any props, they were told leave the premises immediately, without explanation.
One of the protesters was briefly detained by police who required him to show his ID, threatening him with arrest for criminal tresspass. Upon leaving, this individual was notified that he is banned from the Valley River Center for 3 years.
At least 3 other individuals not associated with the forest groups were questioned by security and police, threatened with arrest for criminal trespass and eventually removed from the Valley River Center.
Reporter Josh Schlossberg from the Forest Voice newspaper, a publication of the Native Forest Council, who was present during the rally, was told by security to stop videotaping and was prevented from taking photographs, upon threat of removal from the mall. When Schlossberg asked security if this ban on taking photographs applied to every customer in the mall, security assured him it did. When Schlossberg noticed a customer taking a photograph with their cell phone, he notified security, who then promptly demanded Schlossberg leave the Valley River Center, without speaking to the other customer. Schlossberg and the individuals who were removed from the VRC were followed by security vehicles until they left the premises.
Cascadia Forest Defenders and Forest Action regrouped on the sidewalk beside a busy intersection outside the Valley River Center in the pouring rain, with their cut-out chainsaws, signs, a banner ("American Hyper-consuming is killing us and the Earth's life support systems"), dressed in skimpy lingerie, and handing out 100% recycled postcards and flyers to passersby for the next hour.
Members of the group also assisted an individual whose car had died by helping him push it out of traffic to safety.
Sources including the U.N., NASA and World Resources Insitute claim
deforestation to contribute between 18-50% of manmade carbon emissions
released into the atmosphere. Victoria's Secret, through their wasteful
practices of sending out 1 million catalogs a day cut from the worlds' endangered forests, is a major contributor to global climate change.
Cascadia Forest Defenders, UO's Forest Action and Forest Ethics (www.victoriasdirtysecret.net) are asking that Victoria's Secret begin using tree-free (hemp/kenaf) or 100% recycled paper in their catalogs, not to mention simply sending out less catalogs.