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The Fight For Headwaters Forest

I was looking for "background" information regarding the civil rights violation of the Earth First! protesters by the Humboldt County Sheriff's officers to share with my Constitutional Law class. The transcript regarding the alleged logger who cut the fateful tree that killed Gypsy seems to set the tone for a Criminal Law discussion. Appalling -- are we all the same species, here?

Sheila Blackford

Thank you for providing one of the only avenues for many of us to hear a full and true account of what is happening in Pacific Lumber's holdings in the Humboldt County redwood forest. Tonight, on your website, I listened to Cindy Allsbrooks' press conference and to the (alleged) sound of A.E. Ammons' rage and threats. The contrast couldn't be greater. My son, whom the media knows as "Farmer," was very near Cindy's son, "Gypsy" when he was killed.

I grieve for Cindy and her family with a sharp and fresh pain, even as I mourn the countless green hillsides torn bare by greed. My son and his siblings represent the seventh generation of my family since my grandfather's grandparents left Missouri and Ohio to live and work in California's redwood country in the mid-19th century. It is difficult to fathom what this land has endured in the last 150 years. It is our goal to devote ourselves to preserving what our ancestors did not. Long live our beloved children, long live this wise and sacred forest, long live truth.

(name withheld)

I would like to thank you for allowing people to access audio from the video of a Pacific Lumber logger shortly before felling a tree killing David Chain. It it important for people to realize what is really going on there. There is currently no justice, no independent investigation, and the pepperspraying of peaceful protesters continues. Currently Humboldt County sheriffs are attempting to find a way to charge the activists with manslaughter, while Pacific Lumber and A.E. Ammons remain unpunished.

Shannon McNeil (San Antonio)

Cindy Allsbrook and the rest of David Chain's family should pick up on a lesson from the OJ case. They should file a civil lawsuit against the loggers (both the logger who felled the tree that killed David and the logging company that he works for). Criminal prosecution is not the only means for securing justice. When the investigators and prosecuters don't do their job, it's time to get a lawyer.


I can't thank you enough for publishing all this information regarding this tragedy. I am going to send this URL to several of my mailing lists and interested friends across the country who have been having a hard time getting all of the facts. You did an excellent job of covering this story.

I am the mother of a 15 yr. old treesitter here in Oregon and she has been sitting since May (comes down now and then ...but the tree "Happy" has been her home. ) They have been treated with slightly more respect here by the authorities (until recently when they burned down their base camp twice) but at least no pepper spray.

My heart goes out to David Chain's family and I will continue to follow this story closely.

Ananda Owen

Thank you for having the guts to print the articles on David Chain's murder, and others regarding the Headwaters issue. My heart goes out to his family and friends and all those lucky enough to have known him during his all-too-brief life. How our justice system can possibly allow the charging of the other activists (vs. the logger) with murder is unconscionable.

David dedicated himself to attempting to save the Headwaters Forest, and now has paid the ultimate price. He was a rare person, unlike most individuals (including myself), who will write letters and maybe donate money, but seldom actually participate in direct action. If anything good could possibly come out of this horrible event, perhaps it is that more of us will move beyond our stance of passive resistance and get out there.

Robert Hough

My son is the Jeff Davis quoted in one of your articles. It is absurd that a sheriff and county attorney are allowed to remain in office after illegally rubbing pepper spray in the eyes of young people just trying to protect our fragile environment.

In Arizona where I live there is much discussion about candidates being bought by special interests. Your sheriff and county attorney are definite examples of what money from Pacific Lumber has purchased to the detriment of all of the people living in Humbolt County.

This has to stop. One person has been killed by the loggers already. It can't happen again.

Judy Nagle

This letter is in response to the interview with Juan Freeman. I am appalled at the statements he made that "there was a rush to judgment" on the part of the Earth Firsters! In the first place, these sympathetic young people have done nothing but try to give the police and our family the details of what happened that day. There was no rush to judgment except on the part of the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department. It is not their job to defend A. E. Ammonds and declare him not a suspect even before an impartial investigation by their department has begun, much less concluded. It is also not the job of the Humboldt Sheriff's Office to protect the Pacific Lumber Company, as well as the Sheriff's Office, from civil lawsuits.

As for Pacific Lumber Company, they have proven by their statements concerning the day that David Chain died (i.e. that the logger was unaware of anyone in the forest, and that there was a domino effect) that a civil suit will probably become necessary for them to let other employees know that it is not open season on activists

It is very obvious to me that Pacific Lumber is telling other loggers that it is not against company policy to abandon all standard logging safety practices if you can fall a tree on a tree hugger.

David Nathan Chain was a brave young man who stood up for what he believed in.

If given the opportunity to know him, you would have found that he was a truthful, honest and kindhearted young man with a passion for life and how delicate it is. He loved the Forest and what it stood for, not just the preservation but the future conservation of the entire ecosystem. I am his Aunt and can tell you that the world is a much sadder place when men of convictions can die through the prejudice of others.

I am quite certain that many of you are tired of dealing with activists that interfere with your right to make a living. I can absolutely understand that. But are you not ashamed to work for a company that is destroying our earth at an incredibly quick rate?

This process is ultimately destroying your ecology system, endangering homes below clear cuts, and destroying your future economy. That, to me, is the sad part,since timber is the main business there. What will happen to your livelihood when there are no more trees to cut down? When your water is fouled and there are changed weather conditions, where will you go? When mudslides destroy your homes, who will care? Who will help you then? Charles Hurwitz and his type will be on to greener pastures. He will be in Russia harvesting trees where their environmental laws are nonexistent and labor is cheap.

I appeal to you, [Humbolt County District Attorney] Terry Farmer. If you have children of your own, ask yourself how you would feel if you were dealing with not only the death of your only son but also the lack of justice that my sister is dealing with now. Please Mr. Farmer, reconsider your decision not to have an independent investigation. We are talking about the life of a fine young man of social conscience, with a kindness for other people and a respect for not just human life, but all the life of our earth. Please don't be mislead by Pacific Lumber and act in their behalf. Instead, work for all members of your community and help correct this great tragedy.

Karen Ripple (Pasadena, Texas)

Treason Is

Treason, according to Webster's, is "... the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to ... personally injure the sovereign or his family."

Is it just me, or does that pretty much define the actions of Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg, Monica Lewinsky, Kenneth Starr, and Richard Mellon Scaife?

William C. Edwards Jr. (N Carolina)


Thank you so much for your fine reporting and editing of so much news that we never find it in print, or find on Page 30 in the corner. Sometimes we think we are going crazy, looking for important news that effects our planet.

We have stopped looking at any news source except Mother Jones, since the OJ thing, when it was clear that the "soap opera" media wasn't going to quit. We applaud your commitment to this fine reporting and know it is not easy to find the truth in this world as it stands now. But through reporting like yours, (and your gifted writers, of course) the world will change.

Stacey and Josh

The Beat Goes On

Regarding the sad death of Sonny Bono and the revelation that he had a secret problem with addiction, perhaps he would be alive now if he could have been more open about the problem. In contrast to his youthful persona, Bono showed his intelligence and competence as a Congressman, powers he could have brought to bear on his problem, if he did not have to hide from the hysterical zero tolerance regime. In a climate of compassion, Sonny could have sought help, possibly avoiding his sudden collision with the reality of our shame-based attitude towards drugs. We won't make any headway against our real drug problem until we just abandon "Just Say No" and embrace ourselves the way we are. No amount of punishment and prison is going to solve the real problem, and we now have one of the world's highest incarceration rates, mostly for drug "crimes." How many do we put in prison before it starts to work? Shame and Prohibition did not work against alcohol in the twenties and it has no chance of working against drugs in our times.

Jim Rosenfield (Culver City)

Lead Exposure

My husband and I moved to this rural area 6 years ago, and there are quite a few that use the hunting seasons to obtain a large part of their diet. At first we thought they might get a deer or two and that would be it, but what we have found is that they take as many as they can possibly get, using the bow & arrow seasons, rifle seasons, another bow and arrow season and a black powder season. They hunt turkeys in as much passion as they do the deer.

My husband was telling me that the bullets they use to shot deer have soft points that are made from lead. It makes me wonder if the meat from these kills is lead contaminated. Is it possible that the amount of lead they are ingesting is harmful to them and their families?

Sylvia Hayes (Michigan)

Smoking May Kill One-Third Of Chinese Men

Looks like more American-sponsored genocide to me.


Mumia Abu-Jamal

You have had good coverage of the Bear Lincoln case, but I have seen nothing on Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose appeal for a new trial was turned down by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Mumia's case is a "404 error--news missing" in the mass press Why is it also missing on Albion Monitor?

Pat Robertson

This is an excellent question. Like all mainstream or alternative media, Monitor draws material from three basic sources:
  • Original articles written by staff or commissioned
    A point of pride is that we probably have more stringers in more countries than any but the largest American newspapers -- but at the same time, we can only cover about one story out of every 10 (20? 30?) that merits attention. We simply don't have staff or army of freelance reporters to commission any article we'd like. We also depend on independent journalists to bring us their ideas for original articles, or stories to reprint. In the case of Mumia, not one reporter has approached us, sadly.

  • Articles purchased from syndicates or wire services
    Monitor is unique in its membership in both the alternative and mainstream press; a typical issue draws from about a dozen different syndicates or wire services. None of them have had recent news articles on Mumia. Write to IPS, Pacific News Service, ALTERNET, or your favorite alternative news columnist asking for an story on Mumia that Monitor (and scores of other newsprint publications) could use.

  • Informed op/ed submitted by readers
    I would certainly have published the excellent critique of the KGO-TV attack on Mumia, had I known about it last summer. But no one contacted our office asking us to print it, and it didn't appear on any of our news services; I learned about it only this Thanksgiving weekend, more than five months after it was written. I politely suggest the supporters of Mumia -- or any worthy cause-- work harder on media outreach if they want their information known.

-- Editor


hi all
miss albion
round hills
stick with courage
baby's heart is homesickbroken
jim shaw

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Albion Monitor November 30, 1998 (

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