save the trees! - headwaters forest pic

Gnome 11 thopkins at
Tue Dec 8 12:20:56 EST 1998

In article <74jisr$vj$1 at>, Langrrr at writes
>> > >Did Chain choose to die? He chose to trespass as an act of civil
>> > >disobedience. Are you so unaware of American history to know that civil
>> > >disobedience is as American as apple pie?
>Please. I am more than aware that civil disobedience goes to the very heart
>of this nation.  But, Joseph, that has normally been civil disobedience
>against government, not the wanton trespass against private entities.
If the govrnment supports private entities, then private entities are
part of government policy. So reasonably subject to civil disobedience.

>But, in any case, I have no beef with acts of civil disobedience in general -
>I have no problem with people demonstrating outside of offices, marching,
>etc.  I do have a problem when those demonstrators enter offices, chain
>themselves to things, and destroy property.

I have no problem with entering offices or chaining self to things.
Especially if it is done publicly, and the consequences, usually jail or
fine, are accpted. There is a high risk on a logging opperation. The
opperator should stop work as part of his humanity.

Destroying things? Well, my English history of America told me about the
destruction of a lot of tea...private the Boston Tea
Party. (Maybe you did a different history course?)
>And, more to the point, I have a real problem when that civil disobedience
>breaks the law, and the protestors are somehow upset when something goes
>awry.  There are reasons why we have laws against trespass.  One of them is
>to protect the property rights of the individual being trespassed against. 
>The second is to discourage individuals from trespassing into areas which are
>"attractive nuisances", regions which present a threat to life and limb of
>the individuals who are not supposed to be there.

I don't know the details of the death, but different countries would
deal with 'aggravated trespass' as called in UK, in different ways.
Norway you can only be moved by a policeman. Canada, ditto. UK, you can
be moved by private security or baliffs, but if it is clearly a civil
disobedience thing, the baliffs must first get permission from a senior

However, in UK and Norway, at least, there is an absolute duty on the
site opperator to ensure the safety of any trespasser. Which would mean
the opperator will have to shut down opperations prior to removing
trespasser. Life is more important than profit.

Enthusiastic kids trying to stop environmentally destructive logging is
not a US phenomenen. It happens in UK, Norway, Sweden, Malaysia,
Russia,(Greenpeace Russia did an incredible blockade last year north of
Leningrad in minus 30c), Finland, Canada, and probably anywhere there
are forests and woods and enthusiastic kids. I know of no case other
than this one in the US where there has been a death.

Over 3000 kids have been arrested stopping the UK's destructive road
building program, often cherry picked by out of very tall trees or
removed by profesional rock-climbers working for the contractors. No one
has been killed, and there have few, very few, injuries. Road
construction sites are very dangerous places...if working.

>> > >Since when is trespassing
>> > >punishable by death? That was no suicide mission.

See above. And below.
>I believe the case can be made that it was, actually.  The Headwaters
>Appropriations were being signed by Governor Wilson within a matter of hours,
>and EF's battle there was soon going to be relegated to a mere irrelevant
>sideshow.  Thus, tensions were high, and something needed to be done to
>derail the situation.
>So, Chain and others went into the woods to play "cat & mouse", a game of
>hide and seek used to slow down logging operations.  They ignored warning
>signs and trespassed into a hazardous work zone.  They were confronted by a
>logger, who warned them once again that he was going to be cutting, and that
>a tree might come down on them if they didn't leave the work zone (this was,
>after all, an area in which trees were being cut).  Not a threat - a warning.
>But they ignored this warning, and hid.  And David Chain was crushed,
>creating the perfect martyr for Earth First.  This got them the national
>attention they do desperately crave.
>He chose to be there.  He knew that there was a risk of injury to his person,
>possibly even fatal.  And yet he made that choice anyway.
>> > > The loggers knew the
>> > >trespassers were there and proceeded to drop the tree any ways.
>That is untrue.  The logger had seen the protestors, and then they were gone.
>This was a domino tree, by the way - a tree felled by another tree which had
>been felled by the logger.  What this means is that Chain and Company were
>hiding a considerable distance from where the logger was working, and that
>the logger could not have seen them as he was working.
>> > > No doubt
>> > >the loggers will go free, and their defense will be "property rights";
>> > >the most holy of holyies- which I think is full of holes.
>Oh, that's funny.  Did you write that one yourself, or do you have
>Letterman's team working for you?
>No, their defense is simple - Chain and Company had no right to be there. 
>They were warned repeatedly.  They ignored those warnings and they hid.  The
>result was a tragic accident.
>And property rights is the holy of holies, for without them, no other
>liberties are secure.
> - Andrew Langer

Problem with US is that private property is often put above an
individual's safety. Or so it appears to me.

You should carefully consider if this is appropriate conduct in a nation
that would like to see itself as civilised, *and on the whole is*. 

Profit before life. Is this as 'American as Apple Pie'?
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Gnome 11

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