Six arrested in Sacramento while protesting JDSF logging

Six people were arrested while protesting logging of Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Sacramento, where more than 50 reportedly rallied. (Roslyn Moore)

cross-posted from the Mendocino Voice

SACRAMENTO, CA, 8/31/22 — A coalition of Mendocino County activists and allies rallied in the state capital on Tuesday, where six were arrested after blocking the doors to the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) headquarters.

This was the culmination of a week of actions to “Save Jackson Forest,” which kicked off when Cal Fire announced that it would resume logging on open timber harvest plans (THPs) last week with some modifications to those plans, including a pause on cutting larger trees. The announcement came shortly after CNRA debuted a vision for tribal co-management of Mendocino County’s Jackson Demonstration State Forest, a 48,652-acre redwood forest and the site of Pomo ancestral lands. Michael Hunter, chair of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians, said last week that the tribe was not consulted or notified ahead of time about the resumption of logging.

Over 50 people rallied in Sacramento on Tuesday afternoon to call for recognition of Pomo tribal sovereignty and for a pause on logging to return. Andy Wellspring, a member of the Coalition to Save Jackson State Forest, told The Mendocino Voice that no one from CNRA emerged to negotiate with activists on Tuesday.

In a phone conversation with The Voice, California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crowfoot said he was “optimistic” about future management for the forest and “proud of the level of engagement and collaboration” his office has had with Hunter thus far.

“Our interest is in partnerships with all tribes that have the Jackson Forest as ancestral lands, which obviously is numerous tribal governments and communities,” Crowfoot said. “And my understanding is that both in recent weeks and recent days, there has been a lot of interaction with the Coyote Valley tribe about modifications to the timber harvest.”

He also said he feels Cal Fire’s pause on additional THP development while updates to the management plan take place is “really important and meaningful” — but that he feels work should continue on the four THPs that had been paused for about eight months.

“We do have these [existing THPs] that were already approved, went through a public process, were already started, and that local businesses and workers have been counting on,” he said. “We do think it’s appropriate for the already approved, already underway THPs to be completed. And we look forward to really intense work to update the management plan so that future THPs reflect this more modern vision of the forest that takes into account, in a more robust way, ecological restoration and climate science and tribal collaboration.”

But activists understood that a pause would be in place for the duration of negotiations — and have emphasized this point with a refrain of “no more broken promises.” Those protesting in the “Save Jackson Forest” rallies hope for an eventual moratorium on logging in the forest.

Naomi Wagner was among those arrested on Tuesday. (photo submitted by Roslyn Moore)

“Crowfoot needs to keep his promise,” said Anna Marie Stenberg, one of the Mendocino County residents arrested. “He said logging operations would be paused while he was negotiating with the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. Why is Cal Fire ending the pause?”

The six people arrested at CNRA headquarters were members of Redwood Nation Earth First! who sat in front of the door and linked arms for around two hours beginning at 1 p.m., Wellspring said. Larry Aguilera, Naomi Wagner, Tom Shaver, Stenberg, Marggie Chandler, and Polly Girvin were charged with misdemeanors — failure to disperse, failure to obey a lawful order, and blocking a public egress — and were let go from the police station after receiving citations, for which they’ll appear in court.

“Being a Native American, I can sympathize with the Pomos, because this is their land,” Aguilera, a member of the Miwok tribe who moved to Willits about five years ago, told The Voice. “Wherever I go, I like to acknowledge whose land I’m standing on. … I realize how important sacred sites are.”

A news release from the Coalition described those arrested as “movement elders”; Girvin, a longtime activist in our area, saw the action as an important model for future generations.

“I went to jail today for my great grandchildren Daniel, Courtney, Chloee and Cambree,” Girvin said. “They are members of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and great grandchildren of Priscilla Hunter. I want them to remember that their auntie stood up for their future, so they can be out there in the forest gathering basket materials, gathering medicine, and learning about all the plants. I am a role model for Pomo youth, and that is why I took a stand today.”

At a Jackson Forest Advisory Group meeting earlier this month, State Forests Program Manager Kevin Conway told The Voice that Cal Fire hopes to host the first public comment period regarding the new management plan as soon as this winter. Crowfoot said he hopes the public will be involved in that development process.

“We’re hopeful that this effort to update the management plan really takes into account all of these perspectives,” he said. “We’re very much committed to really better understanding everyone’s perspective and concerns.”

Here’s our coverage on recent happenings around Jackson:

 

 

 

Carlton,MN: Water Protectors Halt Work at Three Line 3 Construction Sites

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2021

Contact: media@resistline3.org or 406-552-8764

 

The “Fight for a Habitable Future on our Planet”

Water Protectors Halt Work at Three Line 3 Construction Sites 

CARLTON, MN: On Monday, July 12th, water protectors stopped work at three Line 3 pipeline construction sites in Carlton County. At all three sites people climbed on top of excavators and chained themselves to heavy machinery. A growing resistance movement has been regularly delaying construction through non-violent direct action since December over concerns about the threats the pipeline poses to water, land, Indigenous sovereignty, and the future of the climate.

Alex, one of the individuals risking arrest today, spoke to why they felt compelled to take nonviolent direct action. They said, “We are all treaty people. We have a responsibility to honor and fight for Indigenous sovereignty, land, and water. I’m here fighting Line 3 as someone who loves the Great Lakes. They’re the largest fresh body of water on this planet and if we destroy them we’ll never get that back.”

Another water protector, Mandy, said “Right now we’re looking at a future with extreme water shortages, accelerating difficulty in growing food, mass human displacement due to natural disasters and manmade disasters caused by fossil fuel infrastructure projects like Line 3. I’m here to fight against ecocide and the ongoing genocide of Indigenous peoples, and I’m here to fight for a habitable future on our planet.”

The Line 3 pipeline has faced significant resistance in Minnesota since it was first proposed in 2014. The Indigenous-led movement to stop Line 3 has long asserted that construction of the pipeline would violate treaty rights and threaten the health of ecosystems in Anishinaabe territory. In particular, Line 3 construction threatens sacred manoomin (wild rice) lakes and other water bodies which are already suffering from this year’s drought.

Beyond harming the land and the water, pipeline construction also threatens communities along the route. Prior to the start of construction in December of 2020, Indigenous advocates and allies had testified before state agencies that the Line 3 pipeline project was likely to increase rates of human trafficking in the area, particularly for Indigenous women, girls, and relatives. In recent months, several Enbridge employees have been arrested in sex trafficking stings confirming many in the movements’ worst fear: that Line 3 is increasing rates of sexual violence along the route, and likely contributing to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

Additional photos, videos, and interviews with movement leadership available upon request.

Camp Migizi: Four arrested in Stop Line 3 action in St. Louis County, Minnesota

Cross-posted from Camp Migizi

On July 10th, off Genew Road in St. Louis County, Water protectors shut down work for a full day at a site where Enbridge was trying to lay pipe. Two water protectors locked to each other through the treads of a machine, while two others climbed up an excavator’s arm, out of reach of police.

About 30 police officers from St. Louis, Carlton, and Aitkin counties responded, as well as State Troopers and a Fond Du Lac Tribal Officer. A large crowd gathered on the roadway to support those locked down, drumming, singing, and rallying for 7 hours in the summer heat.

The comrade who climbed the excavator said, “If this pipeline doesn’t go through Enbridge could go bankrupt. And it would deal a really serious blow to the extraction and oil industry that does so much damage to indigenous lands and lands in general. They’re scared and rightfully so because we’re not backing down.”

Venmo @Taysha-Martineau to support Camp Migizi!

Fairy Creek:Eleven months at the blockade!

Cross-posted from the Fairy Creek Blockade

Saturday, July 11th Report
?11 MONTHS AT THE BLOCKADE!!?
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Day 52 of Police Enforcement
Day 335 of Direct Action Protecting Vancouver Island’s Ancient Temperate Rainforests on Ancestral Pacheedaht and Ditidaht Territories
4 total arrests today
393 arrests to date and counting.
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Today marks the 11th month since our blockade started!
To help ring in the event, a forest defender celebrated her 27th birthday by getting arrested. “It was amazing; I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s exactly what I’m here on the planet to do, what the accumulation of the last year called me to do. This is how I want to welcome in my next lap around the sun.”

RCMP actually sang her Happy Birthday while she was extracted from her blockade device, a tube cemented into the ground (we call these ‘sleeping dragons’) at the bottom of a trench.

This particular forest defender has a family history with the RCMP. Her grandfather was an officer and being here on the frontlines has left her feeling conflicted. She knows that people get into this line of work seeking to do good, and today an officer even told a blockader that we are “not criminals.” Many of the RCMP disagree with this enforcement, and we have even heard of some officers speaking out and facing disciplinary action. As always, we urge those officers who feel conflicted to educate themselves on not only the history of the RCMP as a means to oppress Indigenous people, but on the nature of what we are doing here. Laws don’t change easily, and we need John Horgan and the NDP to understand that they are on the wrong side of history. Only they can tell the RCMP to stand down.

The arrest was exhilarating for her, but there was also a dark moment. During the extraction process a male officer needed to position himself such that he loomed over her, triggering memories of traumatic experiences. Knowing that the officer needed to stay in this position for her safety did nothing to lessen the panic and fear she felt. Confused, tears streaming down her face, she acknowledged that the officer was respectful of her body and personal space, but she still shook recounting the event. She’s chosen to take this experience as an opportunity to grow. This kind of determination is what has allowed us to occupy these blockades for 11 months now.

Later, RCMP used an excavator to extract a blockader from a sleeping dragon. While the forest defender was unable to see what was happening, he could feel it. The excavator digging into the earth beside him and puncturing the PVC pipe his arm was locked into made him ask the question “What could happen if this machine messes up?” With his arm barely able to fit in the tube, escape would not have been easy.

Nearby, a woman in her 50’s who works as a physical therapist was in a similar position. “If you mess up my arm I can’t feed my family,” she told the police. “Please, don’t hurt me or use that excavator on us.” Confusingly, they met her request. The RCMP seem to be picking the safety precautions they follow at random.
With our setup today—a sleeping dragon with a trench on either side and two more sleeping dragons leading into it from the trenches such that three people can lock in (one from the top and one on either side laying in the trenches—a small misstep meant large rocks falling on the forest defenders lying in the trenches. “We’re going to bring the excavator up,” RCMP threatened. Using the backhoe would cause the road to crumble into the ditch; burying blockaders in the process. Forest defenders knew this was a scare tactic to try to get them to unclip willingly. We’ll repeat a question we have repeatedly asked the RCMP in person: why can’t police use hand tools to extract people from hardblocks that were constructed using hand tools? They just did so recently, in fact.
You may remember Grounded Eagle—the BIPOC young adult who was given a concussion by RCMP when they dropped his tripod. Fully recovered, and eager to get back into the action, he found himself up at Waterfall Camp this past week. In his extraction this time around he shared his concerns about the RCMP using an angle grinder. As someone in the Firesworkers Union he knows the smallest spark can cause a subterranean fire. While they worked on him he felt sparks flying onto his hands as they dumped water onto the cutting area.
As always, police set up an exclusion line that was too distant for observation and ignored all complaints. At a distance of 40 metres, photography of the action was impossible. We’ve attached photos of the set-up and a few interactions with police.
Some blockaders felt a weight had been lifted today. Another blockader’s face lit up when he spoke about an owl that swooped in to perch on the police tape; flapping its wings and glaring at the RCMP. Both the blockaders and officers could barely believe what they were seeing; it was as if the forest itself was protesting this enforcement. In a rare moment of vulnerability the RCMP admitted they aren’t ecologists, they’re not in forestry, and that they don’t have all the information. We wonder if any of the officers present this day will speak up like their colleagues have. The time is short and this is truly the last stand. Old growth logging is happening RIGHT NOW and we’re down to a fractional percentage point left.

If we are to stop this, we need your help.

If you’ve been following our updates and waiting to get involved, now is your time. Numbers are low and we need your help now more than ever. This Saturday is a BIG day of action with some special plans. We’d love to see you this week and on Saturday.

Come to camp.
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WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
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COME TO CAMP!
Join us at Fairy Creek (Ada’itsx) HQ!! Please arrive prepared to self-sufficiently camp overnight. Arrestees and non-arrestees are needed DAILY.
We are in wildfire season and as such BEFORE COMING TO CAMP, YOU MUST READ OUR FIRE SAFETY PROTOCOLS:
http://bit.ly/3dNxMFl
Read our pre-arrival info sheet: http://bit.ly/FCBarrivalinfo
Worried about getting arrested? Here’s some educational information: http://bit.ly/FCBarrestee
DRIVING?
Get here: https://bit.ly/FCBnavigation

NEED A RIDE?
http://bit.ly/FCrideshare

HELP OUT!
Backcountry hikers/campers, climbers, tradesmen, kitchen, visitor services, logistics, you name it, we need it! Come prepared to wield your unique skillset & creativity for the betterment of the movement. It is up to YOU to figure out where and how you can be most useful. Get up in it! Visit different camps! Meet people! Ask around!! Find gaps!!!

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CAN’T MAKE IT HERE?
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REMOTE POSITIONS OPEN NOW!
Communications, social media management, research, fundraising, content creation, graphic design, video editing, writing, outreach, admin, legal, strategy, local organization, the list goes on. Got skills? Got heart? We’d love your help!
Fill out our intake form now: https://bit.ly/FCBintake

DONATE!
-Support for supplies and legal fees:
https://bit.ly/FCBfundrazr
-Current list of supplies & physical donations required:
https://bit.ly/FCBsupplies

JOIN A LOCAL EVENT!
Check with your local Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, or any other activist group focused on protecting our future and Indigenous sovereignty. If there aren’t any in your area, rally a few friends and start your own!
Check this page: http://bit.ly/LS4Fevents

CALL YOUR MLA EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Find your MLA’s number here: https://bit.ly/MLAEveryDay

GOT HEALING/THERAPY SKILLS?
We are developing a network of health practitioners to help forest defenders both on and off site. If you are willing to offer healing help, sign up here: http://bit.ly/FCBtherapy

SIGN PETITIONS & MEET YOUR MLA!
-Link to all ancient forest petitions:
http://bit.ly/FCBallpetitions
-Stand.earth MLA Action Toolkit
https://bit.ly/MLAactiontoolkit

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THANKS FRIENDS!
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Klecko klecko! In solidarity, thank you 🙂

#SaveFairyCreek
#LastStandForForests
#RespectYourElders
#EnoughIsEnough
#WorthMoreStanding
#ArtistsForAncients
#LandBack