WALL: North American Day of Action against Home Depot

Recycled News ay903 at extra.lafn.org
Tue Sep 29 20:34:42 EST 1998

North American Day of Action against Home Depot -- Wednesday October

CONTACT RAN FOR A HOME DEPOT ATTACK PACK - rags at ran.org or 415-398-4404

The Home Depot is the world's largest retailer of products that come
from old growth rainforest woods, represents over 20% of the
do-it-yourself home improvement market, and has made promises for
years to get out of the old growth wood trade.  They sell a number of
old growth rainforest wood products;  tropical rainforest wood such
as lauan plywood and paneling and mahogany doors, temperate
rainforest lumber including Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir and
Redwood, and a number of tools including wheelbarrows, dowels, hand
tools, brushes and seam rollers with old growth rainforest wood
handles including lauan and ramin.  A victory with Home Depot will
mean a victory in the struggles to protect tropical and temperate
rainforest ecosystems alike from destruction at the hands of the
commercial logging industry. 

In spring of 1997, Home Depot responded to tremendous grassroots
pressure from groups like you, and agreed to stop selling any old
growth redwood, but refused to address the larger issue of the rest
of their old growth rainforest wood products. 

Many of you participated in World Rainforest Week activities last
year, when demonstrations were held at Home Depots in more than 30
states. In addition, citizens from around the world have sent
literally thousands of letters and postcards to Home Depot in the
past year urging them to commit to going old growth free.  These
activities resulted in a series of conference calls and meetings
between RAN and  Home Depot last fall and into this spring. 

At a meeting with Home Depot in April, they admitted that they never
enforced their old growth redwood policy, but promised to develop a
comprehensive program to go completely old growth free by June 1st. 
They not only missed their own self-imposed June 1st deadline, but
did not even return our phone calls and email messages for nearly two
months.  Until late August, when the first demonstration that
featured civil disobedience hit Home Depot in northern California. 
They have begun to realize that until they make this commitment, and
start taking steps to make it a company priority, the grassroots will
be hard at work to make it a priority for them! 

We stand together now at a pivotal point in this campaign.  We want
to give Home Depot every opportunity to honor their commitment to go
old growth free and take a leadership position within their industry.
A victory is achieved not when they announce their policy, but when
it is fully implemented and they become outspoken advocates for
responsible wood product consumption.  Therefore, we need to generate
as much pressure as possible over the next few months to encourage
them to honor their commitment and go old growth free as well as let
them know the consequences if they don't.  So please choose a Home
Depot location near you, and organize for October 14th.  If you don't
have a store in your area, a call/fax/email blast can also be very

Actions to take:

1)  And as a lead-up to October 14th, please take a few moments to
write a letter to Home Depot today. They have yet to understand that
the campaign to protect ancient forests is a priority for grassroots
activist everywhere, and that it will be a disaster for them drag
their feet on announcing a formal commitment to go old growth free. 
Points to include:

**Introduce yourself and your local group.  Let them know that you
are writing with deep concern regarding their sale of wood products
from old growth forests. 

**Highlight your experience as an activist.  Mention any activities
and tactics that your group engages in, any experiences that you or
your group have with other corporate campaigns, (such as the
Mitsubishi campaign, etc)  and your desire to see Home Depot take a
leadership position on this issue. 

**Mention that you understand that they have made some positive
gestures recently regarding all old growth purchases, but that they
did not keep previous promises regarding old growth redwoods, and
that you are watching this campaign very closely. 

**Highlight the fact that since they are the world's largest retailer
of products from old growth forests, they have a responsibility to
change.  Mention that this is a priority issue and that you hope to
work with them to implement their policies rather than against them
targeting their customers.  Send the letter to:

Mr. Arthur Blank
Chief Executive Officer
The Home Depot, Inc., 2455 Paces Ferry Rd., N.W, GA 30339
arthur_blank at homedepot.com    FAX:  770-384-3040

Please send copies of the letter to Kim Woodbury, Manager of
Environmental Marketing (kim_woodbury at homedepot.com) and Bernie
Marcus, Chairman of the Board (bernard_marcus at homedepot.com)  at the
same address, and Celia Alario at RAN.  221 Pine Street Suite 500,
San Francisco, CA 94104 (calario at ran.org) 415-398-4404x315  FAX:
415-398-2732  Thank you! 

2)  Plan a demonstration or action at your local Home Depot.  There
are 681 of them in North America, and you have the opportunity to
show a presence there in solidarity with hundreds and possibly
thousands of other concerned citizens at stores across the continent!
Options include:

        i)  Have a demonstration and educate customers about old
growth rainforests, encouraging them to sign a postcard to the local
store manager or to Home Depot's CEO calling for an end to the sales
of old growth rainforest woods at all their stores. Consider street
theatre, music, drums and other tactics that can spice up your event.
If your group uses non-violent direct action as a tool for social
change, now a great time to bring that pressure to bear. 

        ii) A Rainforest Tour of Home Depot.  Rainforest Relief and
Action Resource Center spearheaded this tactic earlier this year. 
Working with a contractor, forester or someone else who is
comfortable identifying old growth rainforest wood products, take an
advance trip through your local Home Depot and create a map of the
rainforest products you find.  Many Home Depot's have their own store
maps that you can uses as a starting point and label.  On the 14th
you can take your group, local students and customers on a tour,
showing them the products and educating them about the places these
products come from, and at what cost. 

3)  Send a follow up package to Arthur, Bernie et al and let them
know how your event went.  Include pictures, press clippings and
details on the positive response you received from their customers. 

Home Depot has some unique (and quite possibly unconstitutional)
regulations about demonstrations, and may try to limit your
expression of freedom of speech.  You may be told you can only stand
in certain places, or that in order to demonstrate there you had to
give 48 hours notice and leave a $50 deposit.  This may soon be
challenged in court, and shouldn't be seen as a deterrent to your
group.  But for information on what to expect, for fact sheets, post
cards or sample tour maps and flyers, contact Celia at RAN. 

...... The goal of the Old Growth Campaign is to eliminate the
consumption of wood products derived from the logging of the planet's
remaining primary/old growth forests thereby ending all industrial
logging of old growth forests. By reducing wood and wood-based paper
consumption by 75%, our society can dramatically reduce pressure on
the world's old growth forests and move ourselves into the new
economy of the 21st century -- an economy that generates employment
in a clean and efficient manner; a society that is content to live
with nature. The campaign galvanizes the public's existing feeling
that cutting old growth forests to turn them into 2x4's and pulp is
simply unethical and that a mature, modern society has outgrown such

S E N T   B Y
The Ancient Forest Boycott-any updates and communication to eleorest at wco.com
For more  info, contact -Barnum Watkins @ 707-322-2258 or 707-996-7972

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