>Humboldt deputies arrest 13 protesters
>Earth First! vows further action
>Oct. 9, 1998
>By ANDREW LaMAR
>Press Democrat Staff Writer
>For the second straight day Thursday, Humboldt County authorities descended
>on Earth First! protesters, used pepper spray and carted activists off to
>In all, sheriff's deputies arrested 13 protesters on charges ranging from
>trespassing to unlawful assembly, adding to the five apprehended Wednesday
>during a law enforcement raid on an encampment of activists in the same
>Earth First! vowed Thursday to continue attempts to block a road leading to
>the area where activist David Chain died three weeks ago, citing concerns
>about the integrity of an investigation into his death. Chain was killed by
>a falling redwood while protesting logging by Pacific Lumber Co. near
>Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.
>On Thursday morning, nine activists linked themselves together with tubes
>made of plastic, metal and concrete into which they placed their arms. They
>then lay across the logging road that runs from Highway 36 to the
>mountainside where Chain was killed.
>More than a dozen officers from the CHP and the Humboldt Sheriff's
>Department arrived at the scene at 8:30 a.m.
>Officers took the protesters' rain tarp and ground pads and, after waiting
>an hour, threatened to use pepper spray if the protesters didn't disperse,
>according to Naomi Wagner, an Earth First! member who was present. Officers
>then applied pepper spray near the eyes of protester Carrie Liz McKee, one
>member in the chain.
>"You could hear the screams of pain," Wagner said. "It was an obvious
>attempt to torture one person enough to intimidate everyone."
>Authorities said they applied the pepper spray according to proposed state
>guidelines, with gauze pads dipped in the liquid and placed on the corner
>of McKee's closed eyes. They disputed Wagner's account, that officers
>poured the spray from the palms of their hands into her eyes on three
>occasions in a half-hour.
>According to deputies, pepper spray was used only once.
>A group of 30 spectators gathered to witness the blockade, Wagner said.
>When pepper spraying commenced, 12 of the witnesses linked arms and knelt
>on the center line of Highway 36 to show solidarity, she said.
>At roughly 10:30 a.m., officers began to cut the clips to protesters' locks
>with long-nosed pliers. The first two activists cut from the chain were
>taken to jail. Seven others were cited and released.
>All nine were charged with conspiracy, trespassing and resisting arrest.
>Officers arrested three others who refused to leave when authorities
>declared an unlawful assembly at 2:40 p.m.
>One activist was arrested earlier in the day for interfering with police.
>"This blockade is not over," Wagner said. "Our objectives here are to
>protect the crime scene, the scene of the death of David "Gypsy' Chain, and
>to stay there until the investigation is complete and justice is
>served...and Pacific Lumber ceases illegal logging."
>But Pacific Lumber President John Campbell said the company's plans for
>sustained-yield logging and protecting endangered species habitats are
>under governmental review. Furthermore, lawmakers have agreed to buy the
>Headwaters Forest to preserve it.
>"I think it's important for the public to understand these issues have been
>resolved on the state and federal level and many very thoughtful people
>worked on the issues," Campbell said.
>The death of Chain, along with Earth First!'s ongoing protests, has
>prevented Pacific Lumber from logging and kept eight to 10 employees home
>from work for 18 days, Campbell said
David M. Walsh
P.O. Box 903
Redway, CA 95560
Office and Fax(707) 923-3015
Home (707) 986-1644
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