Police actions now show open sympathy for the logging operations and hostility to protesters
Euphoria over a Federal
court injunction against further logging by Pacific Lumber in Headwaters Forest has not distracted forest defenders from protests aimed at stopping logging in neighboring areas.
Elk River Timber Company, working under an approved Timber Harvest Plan, continues to clearcut along the northeastern edge of the ancient forest, taking out trees which, according to environmentalists, make up crucial intermediate resting places for the endangered marbled murrelet and other species, and provide a buffer between the forest and nearby residential areas.
Since the massive September 15 demonstration, which included some 265 arrests, forest activists have locked themselves to gates, bridges and heavy equipment, sat on tripods and in trees and engaged in other guerrilla defense activities, seriously hampering but not stopping the destruction. According to Earth First! spokesperson Nancy Delaney, police have made 53 arests.
The mellowed-out face presented by law-enforcement by the end of the day on September 15 has given way to police actions which show open sympathy for the logging operations and hostility to protesters, who tell of police and company moves which directly threaten the safety of individual defenders: a crew chain-sawed down a tripod with a protester sitting on it; loggers are felling trees right next to those in which tree-sitters are perched; an officer reportedly urged a logger to "go ahead and cut" a tree which would have fallen right on a line of activists.
On October 15th, Darryl Cherney of Earth First! insisted that Elk River Timber owner Red Emerson was willing to sell his parcels rather than log them. Earth First! came up with a $300,00 down payment offer, but Emerson never responded and is currently stonewalling negotiation efforts; the cutting continues. By the time of this writing, Elk River had pushed a road right up to the edge of the main Headwaters grove and had clearcut some 40 acres. Protests continue, but at a somewhat diminished level. Cherney suggests praying for rain as that is what it will take to stop the cutting.
Earth First! is now sending out a call for legal assistance for those arrested.
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