Communique on the Benefit for Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First! Arrestees
On June 25th, 2012 activists from Cascadia Forest Defenders and Cascadia Earth First converged at the capitol building in Salem, OR to protest a plan that would double the annual clear-cutting in the Elliott State Forest--an ancient coastal forest that is home to endangered species like the Spotted Owl and Marbled Murrelet. Five activists locked themselves together in the offices of Kate Brown and Ted Wheeler while two others climbed flagpoles in front of the building and dropped banners reading: "Oregon: For Sale by Kate Brown and Ted Wheeler" and "Defend Oregon, No Compromise, Earth First!" Six of these activists were arrested on various charges.
This action was done to pressure the State Land Board to stop the selling and clear-cutting of ancient forests. The State Land Board is the decision making body for the management of Oregon's public lands. Its members include Kate Brown, Ted Wheeler, and Governor Kitzhaber. Kitzhaber claims that increased clear-cutting in the Elliot State Forest is necessary to maintain public school funding. However, less than 1% of Oregon's school budget comes from logging state lands and Kitzhaber himself admitted it is a mere "drop in the bucket" compared to total state spending on schools. The majority of the profits from timber sales go to the timber companies not our schools.
Clear-cut some of the last remaining native forests for "a drop in the bucket?" These activists said "No way!" and went to the capitol demanding that the State Land Board separates our school funding from public land management, stops the clear-cutting of ancient forests like the Elliott, and discontinues the privatization of public lands.
The six arrestees are now dealing with legal fees. Three arrestees who have completed trial have fees totaling $1395 ($600 being court fees and $795 in restitution.) Three others are awaiting trial. Because they are still awaiting trial, their court fees are unknown. The minimum amount of money they will owe is around $870 ($600 for court fees and $270 for community service monitoring fees.)
These amazing people put themselves on the line for Oregon's ancient forests, and they need support from the community so they can continue to do this kind of work.
Cascadia Forest Defense and Cascadia Earth First! are putting on a benefit on April 20th, 2013 at the Tonic Lounge (3100 NE Sandy BLVD), for the arrestees.
Please come and give as much as you can in support of Oregon's Native Forests!
For more information on Cascadia Forest Defense:
Jacob Miller and the Bridge City Crooners
Closely Watched Trains