Note: For those of you who do not know The Humboldt Beacon is a general
circulation weekly paper produced in Fortuna by Fortunans. Its latest
issue was distributed yesterday. Its front page headline reads:
"Behind the Blockade"
"Who Are These People? A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Earth First"
The article is relatively benign when compared to the possibilities for
Inside is an Editorial that is more disturbing:
"County Faces A Gauntlet It Must Handle Delicately"
Environmental protesters once again have county law enforcement and The
Pacific Lumber Co. in a tight spot.
Protesters have taken over the entrance to a Pacific Lumber logging site
near Grizzly Creek state park on Highway 36 in Carlotta. They are there
taking a stand for their comrade David "Gypsy" Chain, who was killed by
a felled tree on nearby Pacific Lumber land two weeks ago.
This encampment on the edge of Highway 36 is more that a simple barrier.
It is a series of obstacles placed on a private road to prevent logging
operations. There are stacked tree branches in the way, trenches, and
abandoned car and people ready to "lock down" in metal sleeves.
They call this site a "free state" and claim it as their own in the name
of Chain and Mother Nature. They will not compromise -- never.
County law enforcement must soon deal with this predicament. How will
they force these protesters from Pacific Lumber land? This may be the
most elaborate scheme of non-violent protesting that have encountered
since the Headwaters issue first surfaced a decade ago. the Grizzly
Creek camp becomes stronger and more fortified every day the county
waits for protesters to just go away.
Should something have been done before such a gauntlet was organized?
Surely the sheriff thought of that option, but with protesters grieving
over Chain's death, it would have been a pubic relations nightmare to
clear them off Pacific Lumber property too soon. It would have been
another notch in the insensitivity belt for the county.
Now, time will tell how the county purges the site of protesters. Let's
hope calm heads prevail. Let's hope when technicians are called to cut
away the steel-cemented pipes that link protesters to cars, guardrails
and culverts, no one will be injured.
Once again, this game of cat-and-mouse has escalated, and it appears the
forest is a dangerous place to play.
This blockade will take time to dismantle. And in the end no one wins.
The chase just keeps going.
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