> Parents, friends mourn
> activist
> Sep. 30, 1998
> Press Democrat Staff Writer
> GRIZZLY CREEK -- A grieving Texas mother,
> having only the day before seen her first
> redwood, arrived Tuesday at the base of a
> mountain to mourn at the site where her
> son died Sept. 17 protesting logging of
>trees that
> have left his family in awe.
> "We can certainly understand why he became
> passionate about what he was doing. They're
> beautiful,'' said Cindy Allsbrooks of
> Texas.
> In an emotional display of solidarity with
> First! followers who had befriended David
> "Gypsy'' Chain shortly after his early
> arrival in California, Allsbrook sat down
>in the
> dirt and joined a circle of activists
>around a
> make-shift shrine to her dead 24-year-old
> "I was going to come no matter what,''
> Allsbrooks told the assembled group of
> 30, including longtime activists Darryl
> and Karen Pickett.
> Allsbrooks declined to comment on the
> controversy surrounding a pending local law
> enforcement investigation into her son's
> "I only want to know truth. We will have to
> and see what happens,'' she said.
> Attorney Steve Schectman who represents
> Chain's family has asked state and federal
> agencies to conduct an independent
> citing statements from seven activists who
> with Chain when he was crushed by a falling
> redwood that Pacific Lumber logging
> fell trees in their direction.
> The company contends logger A.E. Ammons
> was unaware the activists were still in the
> when the tree came crashing down, and that
> Chain and the others placed themselves in
> danger by trespassing onto the logging
> State Attorney General Dan Lungren last
> rejected environmentalists' call for his
>office to
> intervene, and conduct its own
> Humboldt County authorities said Tuesday it
> may be another 2-3 weeks before the case is
> turned over to District Attorney Terry
>Farmer for
> review.
> Allsbrooks said since their arrival Monday
>on the
> North Coast the family has been "absorbing
> every bit of information we can about
> death, and the reasons that brought him
> "We never dreamed we would lose him, but we
> know he was truly happy,'' said Allsbrooks.
> Accompanied by an entourage that included
> Chain's stepfather, his two sisters, two
>aunts and
> two lifelong friends, Cindy Allsbrooks
> her son's friends and joined in their songs
> prayers. She wiped away tears during
> offered by student Rabbi Naomi Steinberg of
> Carlotta.
> Steinberg recounted how Chain first saw the
> redwoods a year ago after he left Austin
> hitchhiked up the North Coast, according to
> family members.
> He heard of the controversy over Pacific
> Co. logging practices, and soon decided to
> in Earth First!'s decade-old battle to stop
> cutting. After three months of tree-sitting
> even climbing flag-poles during Earth
> protests, Chain returned to Austin, and
> two jobs through the winter and spring
>month to
> save money to return to live in California.
> Earlier this month, Chain left Texas for
>the last
> time with three companions to return to
> Humboldt County and be reunited with his
> activist friends.
> Within two weeks, Chain was dead, crushed
> a falling tree at a Pacific Lumber logging
> trespassing activists had targeted. He
>became the
> first fatality in a decade of anti-logging
> After about 45 minutes at the Earth First!
> encampment, Allsbrooks stood and tearfully
> her son's friends farewell.
> She urged them to follow their adopted
> principles of non-violent protest, and
>"most of all
> do what's right in your hearts.''
> Husband Ron Allsbrooks, Chain's stepfather
> the past 15 years, said he was not a man to
> show a lot of emotion. But the past few
>days, he
> said, have taught him not to be judgmental.
> "You're wonderful people, and I thank you
> the bottom of my heart,'' he said.
> Earth First! organizers have come under
>fire from
> timber industry representatives and some
> leaders for endangering the lives of young
> activists like Chain by sending them out
>into the
> woods to disrupt on-going logging
> But on Tuesday, the activists unanimously
> rejected the argument, saying it is the
> industry that is directing hostility and
>violence at
> protesters.
> Josh Brown, an Earth First! representative,
> noted that protesters at the site of
>Chain's death
> have had to erect a wooden barrier across
> front of the encampment because timber
> sympathizers have fired paint balls at
>them, and
> thrown objects from passing vehicles.
> "When we complained to local authorities,
> said why didn't we simply get in our cars
> leave,'' contended Brown. "We are the
>targets of
> violence, not the perpetrators.''
> Brown said activists mourn Chain, but hope
> death will give new meaning to their
>efforts to
> draw even more public attention to Pacific
> Lumber logging practices, and what the
> may hold if state and federal agencies
>agree to
> proposed longterm management practices for
> company's 210,000 acres of Humboldt County
> timberlands.
> Longterm wildlife habitat conservation and
> logging volume plans are required for
> Lumber under provisions of a joint
> deal to acquire Headwaters Forest and about
> 6,000 surrounding acres for nearly $500
> The company and state and federal
> contend the proposed measures will be the
> stringent ever imposed on a California
> company. Brown and other environmentalists
> argue they're not enough.
> Brown said Tuesday that activists want all
> remnants of old-growth redwoods on Pacific
> Lumber land put off limits to chain saws,
>not just
> Headwaters and the last significant groves
> terms of acreage.
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644

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