No Pepper Spray on Nonviolent Protesters

 created 4/15/03

Exhibits Supporting Motion re Situs of Trial

Newspaper Articles Submitted

Hard copy printouts of the newspaper articles listed below were filed with the court

Headlines, bylines, publication names, dates and extracts of articles are given below. Click on headline links to read the complete articles from their publications'  websites.
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Arrests of Protesters Increase as Battle Over North Coast Forests Shows No Letup Purchase article from LA Times archive ($2.50)

The Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Calif.; May 29, 2001; ERIC BAILEY 

SCOTIA, Calif.--It seems an unlikely spot for a war of attrition. But a dozen miles southwest of this lumber town, up in the serene stands of old-growth evergreens hugging the Mattole River, the fight rages on over the value of a tree.

For more than a decade, loggers and environmental activists have squared off in California's North Coast woods, from the Redwood Summer of 1990 to Julia Butterfly Hill's two-year tree-sit at decade's end. But this season there's a new ferocity afoot. And both sides worry about casualties.

Activists fire back at PL in supervisors' meeting

By John Driscoll, The Times-Standard (Eureka), May 08, 2002

EUREKA -- About two dozen environmental activists asked the Board of Supervisors to denounce Pacific Lumber Co.'s calls for Homeland Security money to be used in the fight against illegal logging protests.

Several speakers Tuesday took issue with PL President and CEO Robert Manne's depiction of forest activists as terrorists.

Activists call for neutral observers at Mattole protest

By John Driscoll,  The Times-Standard, July 09, 2002 

RAINBOW RIDGE -- Logging protesters have once again blocked a road into an area the Pacific Lumber Co. is looking to log, and, wary of alleged encounters with law enforcement and loggers last year, the protesters are asking for human rights observers to be on hand.

Human Rights Commission Chairman Larry Miller... said there is potential for problems in the Mattole. With PL's loggers and truckers now laid off from the company and working for other companies, Miller said, the possibility exists for especially hard feelings toward protesters.

Observers should be on hand when protests get dicey

The Times-Standard EDITORIAL, July 12, 2002 

Protesting on private property is a risky business made riskier when that property is deep in a remote region of Humboldt County. It becomes riskier still when those protests interfere with the right of men and women to work, legally. But year after year, activists take to the woods to protest the cutting of trees, be it redwood or Douglas fir, usually the old-growth variety. In the past two years, those protests have been centered on the Pacific Lumber Co.'s land in the Mattole, a hilly and rugged place southwest of Scotia.

Last year, the protests got hairy. Someone blocked culverts and vandalized fallen timber. Sheriff's deputies allegedly chased activists and roughed them up. Activists in masks reportedly intimidated woods workers. A fed-up trucker allegedly punched an activist in the face.

Protest closes one lane of Highway 36

Chris Durant, The Times-Standard, July 26, 2002

CARLOTTA -- Protesters blocked the eastbound lane of State Route 36 for about six hours on Thursday by locking themselves to a logging truck. Shortly before noon, three people chained themselves to a Tim Cooney company truck with a full load of logs, said Officer Mike Cipriano of the California Highway Patrol.

Witnesses said that around 40 protesters blocked the truck before it could enter the mill. While it was stopped, three people slid under the truck and locked themselves to the axles, two to the front axle and one to the back. The protesters had V-shaped, metal tube devices that allowed them to freely lock and unlock themselves from inside the tube but prevented authorities from directly unlocking them.

PL, activists clash in Freshwater

By James Tressler, The Times-Standard, November 06, 2002

FRESHWATER -- Two forest activists were arrested here Tuesday in the latest skirmish between demonstrators and Pacific Lumber Co. The two sides continue to disagree over the interpretation of a recent Humboldt County Superior Court ruling that activists claim ordered the company to cease all logging operations.

According to the Sheriff's Department, a man and a woman were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of trespassing and interfering with lawful business. The man and woman reportedly refused to give their names or say where they are from. They remain in custody at the county jail.

At least a dozen tree-sitters occupy posts on PL land in Freshwater. One of the sitters, who calls herself Remedy, has been sitting in an ancient redwood tree just off Greenwood Heights Road for seven months. Remedy and other demonstrators accuse the timber company of continuing to disregard the court order as well as activists' safety by felling trees near them Tuesday morning.

Will radical lawyer's involvement shed light -- or dark?

The Times-Standard Editorial, December 12, 2002

Just when you thought things couldn't get much wackier or controversial when it comes to logging and logging protests in Humboldt County, J. Tony Serra got involved. Serra is a giant among attorneys and has tackled some of the hardest, most controversial cases to come the way of the bar. He successfully represented Earth First organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department, and tried to take the case of the Unabomber. One of his most famous clients was Black Panther Huey Newton.

Now, Serra has decided to defend two activists arrested about a month ago while tree-sitting during a logging protest on Pacific Lumber Co. property. Trespassing, resisting arrest and assault are among the charges filed against them. The activists had been held for nearly a month on high bail, $200,000 for one who refused to give authorities her name. That bail has reportedly been reduced.
The renowned attorney is not likely to be received well by timber supporters, but activists al- most surely will embrace him. Serra's involvement may draw significant media attention from out of the area, highlighting the cause of logging activists. But will it generate more division, division that has polarized this community of strong-willed people?

Board axes Gallegos' request for help in lawsuit

By James Tressler, The Times-Standard, March 12, 2003

EUREKA -- Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos and his assistant Tim Stoen may have to go it alone in their lawsuit against Pacific Lumber Co. After listening to more than three hours of public debate, the Board of Supervisors Tuesday by a 4-1 vote rejected the district attorney's request to contract a San Francisco Bay area law firm to act as special counsel in the lawsuit.

The board's decision was made before a packed chamber divided between PL employees and contractors, who defended the timber company, and PL critics who are standing by the district attorney's lawsuit.

The district attorney sued the timber giant last month, alleging the company concealed key information during the 1999 Headwaters negotiations that allowed it to cut timber on steep slopes that otherwise would have been off limits. The district attorney alleges PL subsequently harvested more trees than it was allowed under the agreement. The lawsuit seeks tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Tree-sitters should follow the law

The Times-Standard Editorial, March 15, 2003

Well, anyone who thought they had seen the last of the battle over Pacific Lumber Co.'s trees when the 1999 Headwaters Forest deal was signed, was sorely mistaken and is repeatedly reminded of it.
Tree-sitters have again formed villages in the trees, more extensive than ever before. The Humboldt County district attorney has gone after PL for alleged fraud; while simultaneously warning tree-sitters who violate a restraining order they will be prosecuted. Loggers and truckers who are contracted with PL parked dozens of rigs outside the county courthouse early this week when the DA asked for money to hire a big San Francisco law firm. The board shot him down, with only the most liberal of the group voting yes.

Pacific Lumber intends to take these tree-sitters down from their perches, which will be a dangerous operation. The company will be armed with temporary restraining orders handed down by a court this past week. Both sides, of course, claim the other is creating the danger.
The only thing we can advocate is what's legal. The tree-sitters should come down and have their day in court, and so should Pacific Lumber. The law may not protect the extreme interests of a few, but it does protect the general interest of the majority. Viewing this crisis in any other way promises only division and hard feelings be added to the bad blood spilt on both sides of a fractured community.

Big bill to sheriff for tree-sits, protests

By John Driscoll - The Times-Standard, March 30, 2003

Protests surrounding the Pacific Lumber Co.'s removal of tree-sitters in Freshwater cost the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department at least $37,000.

That's about a sixth of the department's overtime expenses for the year. On March 18, about 15 deputies and officers showed up, along with three California Highway Patrol cruisers at a cost of about $50 an hour each.

The protests went on for four days. They drew about 50 activists at any one time. Some were arrested for trespassing on PL property, some resisted arrest, and many more watched, taunted or pleaded with deputies and PL-contracted climbers. PL's contracted climbers took down four tree-sitters. Most took about four hours to remove.

The four were only a fraction of the approximately 25 tree-sitters in the area, and when they were taken down, even more climbed into trees, hydra-fashion.
Pacific Lumber has promised to get the tree-sitters down, and activists protesting PL's logging practices have vowed resistance. But if every day costs the sheriff's department more than $9,000, it raises the questions of how long can it afford to police the protests.
Activists say PL is damaging forests and streams, causing flooding of downstream areas and endangering residents, many of whom have lodged numerous complaints with state authorities.
Sheriff Gary Philp defended the numbers of officers sent to the scene. Emotions often run high at protests like these, and he said sending too few officers could jeopardize them and the public.
PL spokesman Jim Branham said it's clear who is at fault and who is passing costs on to taxpayers. He encouraged the county to aggressively pursue recovering its costs from activists who flaunt the law.
Overall, last week's protests only provide a snapshot of a bigger issue that has cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. But both sides are entrenched, and as stubborn as they come. And that could mean a long-term struggle.

Whose shoulder should carry the burden?

The Times-Standard Editorial, April 03, 2003

The $37,000 that the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department spent the week of March 17 policing logging demonstrations in Freshwater was a snapshot of the significantly higher costs these activities have brought to bear here over the years. The tree-sitters protesting Pacific Lumber Co. logging are doing so in defiance of a court order, and are trespassing as well.

North Coast prosecutor in dustup with loggers
D.A. who sued Pacific Lumber faces recall effort

San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2003
Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer

A fraud suit filed by newly elected Humboldt County district attorney Paul Gallegos against Pacific Lumber Co. has goaded the timber firm into an aggressive response, resulting in the threat of a countersuit and a recall campaign against the neophyte prosecutor.

Beyond that, the conflict has deepened a rift between timber industry supporters and environmentalists, with the pro-logger faction vowing to regain control of the county.

"We're going to take this county back, take what's ours," said former timber mill proprietor Robin P. Arkley Sr. "We're not going to stand for the hippies and environmentalists pushing us around anymore."
Gallegos filed the lawsuit in February in Humboldt County Superior Court in Eureka. It accuses Pacific Lumber of concocting fraudulent timber harvest data when submitting plans to government agencies.

Environmentalists, who had been accusing the wood products firm of just such malfeasance for years, were thrilled, and are rallying around the embattled county prosecutor.

"We've dealt with the water quality consequences of improper logging for a long time, and it's (encouraging) to find the district attorney essentially addressing the same issue," Miller said.

But Pacific Lumber, feeling its oats after recent successes in removing a bevy of tree-sitting demonstrators, isn't about to take Gallegos' move lying down.

The company has threatened to countersue the county, and its workers are supporting a recall effort against the district attorney.

(Read the full article for much more detail and interviews.)


Residents -- weary of tree sitter conflicts, lawsuit against Pacific lumber -- launch D.A. recall effort

The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa CA, April 6, 2003


The forcible removal of tree sitters from Pacific Lumber Co. timberland has attracted national attention, but it's only one of several hot issues that have tempers flaring in redwood country.

"In my six years on the board, I've never seen such turmoil," Humboldt County Supervisor Roger Rodoni said.

New county District Attorney Paul Gallegos is the target of a recall movement after just three months in office because of a civil fraud lawsuit he allowed his top aide to file against Pacific Lumber.

Meanwhile, county officials, struggling to cope with deep budget deficits, are angry over rising costs to police the tree-sitting actions. So far, the county has spent at least $40,000 to assist in ridding Pacific Lumber timberland of tree sitters who are persisting in violation of a court order.
Retired lumberman Robin Arkley of Arcata is among the longtime Humboldt County residents who are seething. Arkley said he put up $5,000 to launch the recall effort because he believes people are fed up with nearly two decades of rancor over Pacific Lumber operations. "We're going to take back our county from the environmentalists, tree sitters and outside agitators," he said.

Three weeks after launching its controversial campaign to forcibly remove tree sitters from redwoods marked for logging, Pacific Lumber admits progress is slow. Foul weather is a factor. And so are continuing concerns about safety. But mainly, a steady stream of young activists has arrived in the Freshwater region east of Eureka to replace the five tree sitters taken down so far.

"I think there are more tree sitters up now than before," said Earth First organizer (Karen) Pickett. She said it has been no problem to find replacements for the tree sitters who have been removed.

Company spokesman Branham said that may be true, but the company isn't going to be deterred from its efforts to remove the tree sitters so logging crews can proceed with state-approved timber harvesting plans.

(Read the full story for much more depth and detail.)

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