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forest defense | police / legal

"Elliott 27" Sentenced After Forest Road Blockade Last Summer

Roseburg, Oregon 02 August 2010 - After over one year of pre-trial probation, the activists involved in the July 6-9, 2009 road blockade in the Elliott State Forest have finally faced sentencing. Twenty two of the twenty seven activists arrested plead "no contest," and were found guilty of Criminal Trespassing of the second degree, a class "C" misdemeanor.
After over one year of pre-trial probation, the activists involved in the July 6-9, 2009 road blockade in the Elliott State Forest have finally faced sentencing. Twenty two of the twenty seven activists arrested plead "no contest," and were found guilty of Criminal Trespassing of the second degree, a class "C" misdemeanor. The twenty two will share the restitution costs; paying the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) just over $1,200. This is down from the original ODF request of over $100,000. Five of the twenty seven activists chose a jury trial over group litigation and had the charges dropped by the Douglas County District Attorney's office before trial.

The remaining twenty two were divided into three equal groups and seen by three separate judges. The first group was seen on July 20th by judge Joan Seitz and ordered to pay $1,000. The second group received the same sentence yesterday, issued by Judge Francis Burge. The maximum fine for Criminal Trespass in the second degree is $1,200. Despite judicial precedence, the third group of activists was sentenced to fifteen days of community service building trails and removing garbage from the Elliott by Judge Ronald Poole.

The Elliott State Forest is one of the last coastal temperate rainforests in the Northwest, containing many trees that are over two hundred years old and over four feet in diameter. It is open for public enjoyment, yet contains no trails, signs, picnic tables, or other facilities which would promote recreation. "Instead, " says Ian Lamb, one of the defendants, "the Oregon Department of Forestry is selling the Elliott off to private timber companies piece by piece and allowing more than 500 acres a year to be clear cut. This mismanagement represents irreparable harm to water sources, endangered species habitat, and crucial carbon storage."

Restitution originally sought by law enforcement and the ODF totaled to more than $100,000 and included costs for catered lunch, transportation, and hotel rooms for the fifty nine law enforcement officers which included members of the National Guard, the Oregon State Police, and the Douglas County Sheriffs office. Most of these claims were found to be unlawful.

The activists, represented by Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, were pushing for community service in lieu of a fine due the financial hardships facing the group, and the fact the it was a "crime of conscience" in which they used traditional non-violent civil disobedience. The protestors, many of whom identify as part of the groups Earth First! and Cascadia Rising Tide, tried various legal tactics to protect the Elliott including organizing hikes, contacting elected officials, and notifying media, before resorting to civil disobedience.

Lamb added, "As part of the remaining four percent of native forests left in the country, protecting the Elliott now for generations to come must trump any potential profits generated for the timber industry."

off "Scott Free" 03.Aug.2010 16:51

freeganimalien cultivore@hotmail.com

the issue of Forest conservation and re-wilding is overgrowing my heart these days. As one of the 5 who faced jury trial, I feel stupendously fortunate and slightly disappointed that it was only the 5. At least the 3rd group from the 22 got community service, which is what activists like them do as a lifestyle anyway, and the misfortune of the others is depressing. Of course the judicial system's function is to create criminals, so the mass-populace buys into the protection of the state. What a false sense of security this institutionalised mob offers!

"We're going to protect you and we need to cover our costs, you understand?"

"Who are you protecting us from?"

"Well, from us, that's who, you'll pay one way or another."

Civilisation can't hold together forever, the signs are all around, surviving collapse won't be easy. Can we dissolve those imaginary boundaries the elites use to manipulate and coerce obedient compliance, or apathy? We had better start sooner rather than later. Autonomous must imply self-sufficient communities and that can look like anything imaginable. Edible forests might start reclaiming deforested stretches of the land-base and we can help that along. Can we cease insisting that others obey anything outside their highest-self? Eradicating resentment, malice and intolerance won't be easy, it possibly won't be a tangible result but a proceeding that eventually plateaus with the social equilibrium that the First Nations of America balanced before the capitalist empire slithered upon and coiled around the new world.

A Convenient Fact: Surviving collapse won't require industrial products.

Can the industrial empire resurrect itself? Could a balance between nature and the anomalous unnatural society of Civilisation be achieved? Pray prey, pray to worship and serve the techo-christ singularity so exacting complete personal sacrifice this anomaly multiplies it's holdings....new terms and values of capital...worlds, galaxies, the convenient infinity beyond. Or if the bullshit has to end there may just be serene families living without attachment to novelty, without any fear of loss, understanding eternity as true-identity. I'm open to correspond to email, although I may neglect this discussion, there is a heap of bullshit I'm busy pitching out of "my" existence.