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Jun-25-2012 21:09printcommentsVideo

Police Arrest Six at State Capitol During Earth First! Timber Protest

Salem timber protest kept local law enforcement officers busy.

Earth First! 2012 CASCADIA Regional Rendezvous

(SALEM) - It was quite a day at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem. Members of Earth First! made a notable showing inside and outside of the state building, Oregon State Police, Salem Police and Salem Fire were all involved as the event dominated scanner traffic throughout the day.

Our Photojournalist Jerry Freeman was there for the action and his video below includes an interview with Emmalyn Garrett of Bandon, Oregon, representing the day's activities. The Oregon State Police sent out a number of news releases today with regard to the capitol protests, that information is included below Jerry's video.

News release from the Oregon State Police

Near 10:00 AM Cascadia Earth First! and Cascadia Forest Defenders converged at the Oregon State Capitol after the regional Earth First! Rendezvous.

Activists chained themselves together and staged a “die-in” in the offices of Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown while others climbed the building's flagpoles, hanging banners reading, “Oregon: For Sale by Kate Brown and Ted Wheeler” and “Defend Oregon, No Compromise, Earth First!”

Flagpole banner droppers descended after deploying banners into applause and arrest. Two activists locked together with bicycle ‘U-locks’ around each of their necks have been extracted from Ted Wheeler’s office while three activist remain in Kate Brown’s office with their arms locked together.

Police, who are currently bringing in extraction equipment and have hung a sheet in front of the window obscuring outside media and support.

The crowd in the capitol halls outside of Brown’s office doors is chanting:

Devastation and Exploitation Won’t be Solved by Corporations,

Earth First No Compromise We Fight for Water Earth and Sky

Protesters are targeting Secretary of State Kate Brown and Treasurer Ted Wheeler – both members of the State Land Board - after passing a plan in October of last year that will nearly double the annual clearcut in the Elliott State Forest.

Today's protest is an escalation in a series of protests calling on the Land Board to stop the clear cutting of ancient forests and to separate public school funding from state forest management.

The State Land Board is responsible for the management of the Common School Fund, a fund that is generated from taxes on certain lands operated by the board. According to the Oregon Department of Forestry, which is overseen by the State Land Board, forest lands are to be 'managed for timber production'.

Some revenue from these lands goes to funding public education in Oregon, but less than one percent of Oregon school funding comes from logging the Elliott State Forest.

Governor Kitzhaber himself referred to the Common School Fund as a “drop in the bucket' when compared to total state spending on education.

“The elected officials of the State Land Board are allowing large extraction-based industries to make a quick profit at the expense of Oregon's healthy future,” says Emmalyn Garrett of Bandon, OR.

“We won't let narrow industry interests dirty the air and water, destroy biodiversity, and decrease Oregon’s quality of life.”

According to Garrett, today's protest calls on the State Land Board to take responsibility for their failure to protect Oregon's public lands ahead of private industry profit.

Cascadia Earth First! and Cascadia Forest Defenders demand:

  • No more clear cutting ancient forests.
  • Drop the 2011 implementation plan for the Elliott State Forest.
  • Separate our school funding from public land management.
  • No more privatization of public lands.

Source: Earth First!

News release from the Oregon State Police

A total of six people were arrested Monday in relation to a protest involving environmental groups at the Oregon State Capitol building in Salem. Oregon State Police and Salem Police Department, with the help of Salem Fire Department, were on scene during the day monitoring a group of approximately 50 protestors, most of which remained inside the building. There were no other arrests and the remaining protestors left the building just prior to closing at 5:00 p.m.

The following six people were transported to the Marion County Jail where they were booked, cited and then released from custody: Laura Ashley Samuels, age 22, from Carlton, Oregon (Arrested from American Flag Pole)

Alexandra Gloster, age 22, from Berkley, California (Arrested from Oregon Flag Pole)

Cameron Michael Kennedy, age 22, from Eugene, Oregon (Arrested from Treasurer's Office)

Nicloe Dentremont, age 22, from Eugene, Oregon (Arrested from Secretary of State's Office)

Mary Rosett, age 31, from Missoula, Montana (Arrested from Secretary of State's Office)

Anna K. Armstrong, age 19, from Bend, Oregon (Arrested from Secretary of State's Office) All were cited to appear at a later date in Marion County Circuit Court for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree, and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree. No photographs from the jail available for this release. On June 24, 2012 at approximately 11:00 a.m. the group of protestors, including two who climbed flag poles outside on the east and west side of the State Capitol to display homemade banners, started the protest. The majority of protestors were inside the building's hallways. Five protestors, three in one location and two in another location, were occupying entrances inside offices of the Secretary of State and State Treasurer, refusing to leave. Three were using improvised securement devices to attach themselves to each other. The other two used bike locking devices around their necks. At approximately 2:20 p.m. the Legislative Administrator notified the individuals in each office that they were directed to leave or would be subject to arrest. Four of the 5 people, three adult females and one adult male, refused to leave and were arrested. The other person, an adult female, voluntarily left after being identified. Unknown person(s) poured about a gallon of muddy water on the hallway floor in front of the door entrance to the State Treasurer's office. These four photographs - Oregon State Police



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Environmental Sanity June 26, 2012 3:50 pm (Pacific time)

Over the decades I have seen forests cut flat by man. No amount of corporate-sponsored replanting will ever replace the biodiversity and healthy forests that were lost. WE ARE DOOMED if we keep thinking the way we have. DOOMED. Selective harvesting, public control of public domain - no selling or leasing our lands to corporations. They don't give a damn about any one of us. Clear-cutting destroys our watershed. What will we drink then?

Anonymous June 26, 2012 9:08 am (Pacific time)

RENEWABLE RESOURCE! Over the decades I have seen so many trees destroyed by fire and insect infestation because so many uninformed people do not undestand how this renewable resource can best be managed, and create all kinds of nonsensical roadblocks. Those who have spiked trees, and have caused other damage should be prosecuted under a measure 11 type law. As far as the protestors, well that's first Amendment activity and as long as it's done peacefully, go for it...but please try to get informed about why we need to harvest this renewable resource,and create access roads throughout the forests.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.