>Rites set for forest activist
>Chain's relatives to travel from Texas to attend local memorials
>Last week it was a Pacific Lumber road leading to a logging site near
>Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.
>This week it's the "Gypsy Free State" -- an around the clock blockade
>maintained by environmental activists.
>Earth First activist David "Gypsy" Chain, 24, of Coldsprings, Texas,
>died last Thursday after a tree fell on him. PL officials maintain the
>death was accidental and that loggers didn't know anyone was in the area
>when they cut the tree that fell on Chain. Earth Firsters say they were
>in the area trying to engage the loggers in dialogue about their
>activities and that the loggers were purposely falling trees in their
>About 30 activists were at the blockade Wednesday morning. The entrance
>to the road was blocked by logs, rocks, branches, bales of hay, and
>couches. About five people were linked behind the barrier in sleeve
>devices and one had a bicycle lock linking him to a barrier.
>A little farther up the road at PL's metal gate, another blockade was
>formed with an old car, logs, and rocks. Some activists spent the night
>in sleeping bags between the car and the barrier.
>Earth First spokeswoman Karen Pickett said Wednesday that as far as she
>knew, there had been no arrests or logging activity Wednesday.
>PL officials said Wednesday in a news release that here will be no
>operations today at the logging site where Chain was killed. Chain's
>funeral is today in Pasadena, Texas. Earth Firsters will hold a
>demonstration beginning at noon today.
>"This will be a sad day for everyone," PL President John Campbell said.
>"It is my hope that after a day of careful reflection on Thursday, we
>will all finally be ready to give up the past so that we can begin
>working together for the future of the North Coast," Campbell said.
>Members of Chain's family will come to Humboldt County next week for a
>couple of memorial services. One will probably be on Monday at the site,
>Earth Firsters said. Another is planned for Tuesday -- the evening
>before Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.
>An investigation by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department continues,
>and officials don't know if any charges will be filed. Redway attorney
>Jay Moller said in a letter to District Attorney Terry Farmer, that at
>the very least involuntary manslaughter charges should be filed against
>the logger who cut the tree that killed Chain.
>If a jury was to convict the logger of involuntary manslaughter, it
>would have to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that a reasonable and
>"ordinarily prudent, careful person" would not have fallen the tree
>under the same circumstances, Moller said.
>Moller also requested that the crime scene be preserved and an
>independent investigator be assigned to the case. He hasn't spoken
>directly to Chain's family, but thinks it's likely a civil suit will be
>Farmer said he's not going to decide whether charges should be filed
>until the investigation is complete.
>"You want to look at all the facts before you draw any conclusions," he
>said Wednesday. "Cases are not made on rumors on superstition."
>Farmer said he's confident the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department can
>conduct a thorough, impartial, and complete investigation. If other
>agencies think they should come in and investigate, officials will
>cooperate, he added.
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644
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