Forest Defense Escalating in Northern California’s Mattole Watershed

Cross-posted from Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters.

Pre-Dawn Arrests at “Spectacular Mono-pod Blockade” at Logging Gate at Rainbow Ridge, Mattole

June 17, 2019

Photo is the 40? tall mono pod with a sitter in it. via Save the Mattole campaign.

Petrolia, CA—In the predawn darkness this morning, a 40 ft. “mono-pod” blockade structure was erected in the road at the main access gate to controversial logging plans in the Mattole River watershed, and several people on the ground were arrested. Twenty people were on site to protest logging by Humboldt Redwood Co. (HRC) in the Rainbow Ridge area, where HRC first started operations in early June.

At least eight sheriffs’ vehicles arrived and immediately threw several people on the ground and subsequently arrested them, while they were standing on the public access road, ostensibly in a legal area. Lear Asset Management, the private security hired by HRC is also on site. So far reports are that several people were arrested and taken to jail, and there is a sitter in the pod.

Several trucks and heavy equipment have approached the gate and turned around.

The response of community members and activists has been swift and growing since the beginning of June when HRC began a long-controversial logging plan on Rainbow Ridge, prompting a public outcry and direct action protests. On June 8, a tree-sitter ascended a centuries-old tree, avoiding security patrols and drone flyovers, and has remained, despite harassment and serious endangerment by a Lear security climber last week. That hired climber cut down gear and heavy water jugs above the head of the sitter, sending supplies flying to the ground, and confiscated most of their food and water. The demonstration this morning is, in part, in solidarity and support of the tree-sitter, who goes by the name Rook.

On June 10, four septuagenarian local residents were arrested at a civil disobedience blockade at the gate, and now await trial.

Monopod sitter.

One of the arrestees this morning said from jail, “People in the local community and from all over have been putting their bodies on the line to protect this forest for over 20 years, and this action is part of continuing that important legacy. We’re at a crisis point and we can’t just sit back and let corporations destroy the last remaining wild places on the planet. Humboldt Redwood Co. pretends to care about what the community wants, but HRC is acting like the old Maxxam/Pacific Lumber right now. People in this bioregion have a responsibility to make sure these forests remain standing. That’s why I was there today, and why we’re not going to stop.”

Community efforts to protect this coast Douglas fir, oak and madrone forest from industrial logging have been ongoing since the 1990s. These forests are unique and remote, harboring many threatened and rare species. See Lost Coast League for more information.

This logging also shines a light on the marketing of the lumber at outlets like Home Depot, who sell HRC’s forest products as sustainable, despite the heavy use of herbicides and cutting of legacy forests. That sustainable certification is being challenged as well.

For information on the direct action response, see the FB page, Save the Mattole’s Ancient Forests.

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Toronto: Wet’suwet’en Supporters Deliver Message to TC-Energy Exec’s Neighborhood

Photo via Rising Tide Toronto

Cross-posted from Rising Tide Toronto

“[Saturday] morning, twenty people dressed as construction workers arrived at 232 Douglas Drive in Toronto, erected construction fencing and turned the well-manicured lawn into a site of destruction. They also postered and flyered the neighbourhood to bring attention to one the people behind the ongoing violence occurring on Wet’suwet’en territory. As people based in Toronto we have a clear connection with the destruction out West and a responsibility to fight it.”

Here is a statement from Rising Tide Toronto on the action:

“It seems like the direct impacts of TC-Energy on the lives, land and bodies of Indigenous people are too far away for Mr. Vanaselja so we decided to bring it home. This is a personal matter for all the people on the ground facing the destruction of their homes and harassment from pipeline workers so we decided to make it personal for Mr. Vanaselja. This is referencing the ongoing construction of the Coastal Gas Link pipeline in contravention of Wet’suwet’en law, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, the 1997 Canadian court decision on Delgamuukw, and of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) directives.

Coastal Gas Link is a project of TC-Energy. Since January, after unarmed Indigenous Wet’suwet’en were forced at gunpoint to concede a checkpoint at the entrance to their unceded territories and tentatively struck a deal with Coastal Gas Link (CGL), CGL has been clearing and preparing their proposed “Camp 9A” man camp intended to house up to 450 pipeline construction workers. An Unist’ot’en representative says that, “the man camp would threaten the safety and security of Wet’suwet’en people and residents of the Healing Center.”

Photo via Rising Tide Toronto

While TC-Energy is invading sacred Wet’suwet’en territory in a time of climate crisis, we are here as a reminder to Canadians this ongoing genocide. Indigenous people are in inherently connected to the land to defend and protect it from projects like CGL. We all share a crucial responsibility to take action in solidarity with Unist’ot’en Camp.

Released just last week, the National Inquiry’s final report into widespread violence against Indigenous women and girls directly addresses the connection between workers in man camps and higher rates of violence and sexual assault.

Stopping sexual assault and gender based violence connected to energy projects and assuring that Indigenous peoples’ rights and laws do no continue to be violated is imperative.

In March, CGL was ordered to stop work in an area of a trapline by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) due to non-compliance with permits. CGL ignored the EAO order and continued to block access, bulldozed a trapline, and operated bulldozers and excavators within meters of active traps.

We are bringing the attention and bringing consequences to the people behind the project. We want Mr. Vanaselja to pull out all Coastal Gas Link workers from Wet’suwet’en territory and stop man camp construction.

This action is a part of an international call to action for support and solidarity called for June 15th.”

 

Water Protectors Lock Down to Stop Line 3 Construction

via Ginew Collective 

Water Protectors Lock Down to Stop Line 3 Construction, Powerlines Built for Tar Sands Pipeline Through Army Corps Land as Enbridge Seeks Water Crossing Permits

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 3, 2019
Contact: ginew@protonmail.com

(Park Rapids, MN) This morning, water protectors supported by Ginew Collective, Northfield Against Line 3 and others halted work at an active construction site on the proposed Line 3 route. Three water protectors locked themselves to logging equipment while over a dozen concerned citizens rallied in support.

Great River Energy, Enbridge’s named utility provider for numerous pump stations it needs to power its tar sands pipeline, is logging through water crossings and wetlands next to the Line 3 route.

Enbridge has significant unmet energy needs to power the Line 3 route, and notes its partnership with Great River Energy in its application to the Army Corps of Engineers to bulldoze through wetlands and water crossings. Great River Energy specifies in its Army Corps application that it is building the electric transmission line to power Enbridge’s pipeline unbuilt pump station.

Minnesota has not issued the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) or DNR permits required for Line 3 construction across wetlands or water crossings. Minnesota announced the 401 water quality certification process will not be complete until fall 2019.

“Enbridge pretends to follow the process while it is busy bulldozing through our forests and wetlands,” said Frances Weatherall while locked to logging equipment.

“This is a years-long plan to send more dirty tar sands through Minnesota, don’t be fooled into thinking they won’t destroy as much as they can while they wait for their final state permits,” said Mollie Weatherall, locked with her sister on the same machine.

Jonas, who was also locked to a machine said, “This is a step towards decolonization, Enbridge is carving up the planet and our government doesn’t care. Today it’s my turn to put my body between the planet I want to protect and the attacks against our water, our climate, and Native sovereignty.”

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Link to fundraise for bail: PayPal.me/nfldal3

Link to Facebook post with press release & pictures: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2254586604870599&id=2061510617511533

Germany’s biggest CO2-Polluter RWE Claims 2 Million Euros from climate activists

Europe’s largest CO2 emitter, the German energy company RWE, sues
climate activists for 2.07 million Euros for compensation.

Cologne, 05/29/2019:
The German power company RWE sues climate activists for 2.07 million
Euros for compensation. At the time of the 23rd UN Climate Conference in
Bonn in on 15 November 2017, the activist group “WeShutDown” blocked
conveyor belts and diggers in the Weisweiler coal power plant. With the
blockade, the activists achieved an almost complete shutdown of
Germany’s fourth biggest power plant.

Now, RWE is apparently trying to deter the anti-coal movement, demanding
large scale damages from activists for the first time. But the affected
activists will not let RWE intimidate them: “The claims by RWE cannot
stop our movement. Climate change is not waiting. Coal-fired power
plants must be shut down immediately and for good. As long as that is
not achieved, there will be blockades and other actions.” says activist
Cornelia.
The activists have filed an objection against the lawsuit.

The activist also face a criminal court case. It has been scheduled now
for july 10th, 15th and 17th. The process will take place in Eschweiler,
and deals with legal accusations such as disturbance of public supply
and trespassing. The activists announce that they will use the attention
raised by the lawsuit to accuse RWE of the worldwide destruction of
livelihoods and to spread their demand for an immediate coal phase-out.

A journalist, who accompanied the action in Weisweiler, is also being
sued. RWE even tries to deny his status as a Journalist.
The activists reject the plans of the German government to run
coal-fired power plants until 2038: “Burning coal for another twenty
years is madness. The capitalist economic system is based on the
illusion of perpetual growth. That’s why we have to overcome it”, says
Moritz.

RWE, whose three large lignite-fired power plants Weisweiler,
Niederaussem and Neurath alone emit about ten percent of German CO2
emissions, is increasingly targeted by climate activists and
initiatives. The activists declare themselves to stand in solidarity
with the internationally known occupation in the nearby Hambach Forest,
which protects the ancient forest from the biggest RWE lignite mine.

**The activists can be contacted for interviews or further questions.

Contact: +491779037423 e-mail: wedontshutup@riseup.net twitter: @we_shut

Press review of the action and the campaign against the lawsuit (german
only):http://wedontshutup.org/pressespiegel/

fotographs: https://www.flickr.com/photos/147051632@N03/

http://wedontshutup.org/en/press-releases/