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Thursday, September 20, 2007

We Remember You David Nathan "Gypsy" Chain

Today marks nine years since the death of David Nathan Chain, known to fellow forest defenders as Gypsy. He died on a steep, forested mountain side during an attempt by 9 forest activists to non-violently stop logging in an area where illegal operations were occuring. Once he had been informed by the activists that the logging plan was being cut illegally and that a government inspector was on his way he became enraged. The logger screamed threats and chased everyone, the went back and fell several trees in the direction of the people he had repeatedly chased. One of the comments screamed by the logger was, "F--k I wish I had my f--king pistol!". Not long after he cut a tree that hit Gypsy, killing him instantly. Earth First!ers blockaded the logging road to the site to protect the crime scene which may have been destroyed the next day. No criminal charges were ever filed against the logger but the investigator, Juan Freeman, considered pressing charges against the activists who were in the woods with Gypsy that day. Gypsy's mother, Cindy Alsbrooks, convinced Juan Freeman that this was the wrong thing to do.Cindy Alsbrooks later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Pacific Lumber which resulted in a out of court settlement. Among other things the settlement included a memorial plaque at the foot of the mountain where he was killed, near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park.Climbing trainings were recently held at the memorial site during a forest defense action camp. The plac dedicated to him has been defaced, causing strong emotional reactions of anger and sadness among those who saw it. It stands as testimony that some still hold on to their blind hatred of environmental activists.


organicchefnatalia said...

I met gypsy on tour in 1993.He was a beautiful blonde dreadlocked brother with a heart of gold and we kept in touch so when I travelled west we'd cross paths. I flewout three days before his murder and was in Santa Cruz California when this occurred. I lost it. Tucked my life into a backpack and went on the PCT a few days before I could even converse. This brother died a martyr and he will never be forgotten. I hope that in speeches to come, Butterfly mentions her time with Gypsy more often. (I knew her when she was running around rainbow gatherings-she accidently locked the jeys in the trunk of my brand new vw and took a crow bar to open the trunk of my car while I was in the er of ocala hospital from a bee sting....she is not always the sharpest knife in a drawerbut I still love her unconditionally. Often times I only hear of butterfly when Gypsy lived in the tree next to her. Love and light to all family and friends and extended family. May all of us be conscious of our paths we choose and keep Gypsy in our hearts. Aloha

Mary O'Grady said...

why were no charges ever filed against the logger, or charges to Pacific Lumber? what has since been accomplished due to this unselfish act by this 'martyr for the blessed redwoods' and by others since?

Mary O said...

I was one of dozens who marched from the square in downtown Eureka to the Humboldt County Courthouse in honor of 'Gypsy amidst angry loggers in their trucks jeering past us along the way and looks from police that felt less than respectful to his memory. I revere the members of 'Earth First' and all of the people who stopped the cutting of old growth redwoods by inhabiting the trees. Even if someone later came along to attempt to end ancient redwood Luna's life it was worth the struggle to enlighten people.