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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The West Coast Tree-sit Raids


With the fall of the Bear Mountain tree-sit in Victoria, BC, it seems like this is a very crucial time for activists in the trees up and down the west coast. There are two campus trees-sits, one under attack right now at UC Berkeley and one at UC Santa Cruz. These actions are opposing the unnecessary development of greenspace.

Photo courtesy of http://insurgentphoto.com/main.html
The Berkeley Action is opposed to the destruction of a large grove of Coast Live Oaks in order for the campus to place an athletic training center adjacent to the campus stadium. As if the "atheletes" need a training center so close to the stadium. Maybe they are afraid of a little walk for some exercise? To make things even more contraversial, the grove is memorial dedicated to fallen Californian World War I soldiers. To top that off, 18 Native Americans were discovered buried under the stadium in 1923. This area is sacred and needs protection from furthur development. The city of Berkeley opposes the development. However, the UC only has to abide by state laws, concerns and constraints. In other words, the UC campus is comparable to a Federal agency, which answers to pretty much no one, especially local concerns of the city's residents. I suggest that if you are reading this and you are in the Bay area, that you head up to the stadium to help them. They need your help now more than ever!

Bear Mountain, which to this date is still an active action due to ground efforts in civil disobedience, stated "if the development thugs want to force through this kind of horrific, destructive project, they will need to call in the army. ef.vancouver@gmail.com". That statement may not have been from zoeblunt@gmail.com, one of the main media contacts from Bear Mountain, but it does sound like they mean business. The Bear Mountain action is opposing a highway interchange development that would slash through one of the last areas left of greenspace in Langford, BC. Bear Mountain has a long history of non-vilolence and if you are reading this in the Vancouver BC and surrounding areas, please contact Bear Mountain or visit their site to help them. Please help them stand.


The UC Santa Cruz tree-sit also opposes the campus development of our dwindling greenspace. The LRDP Resistance is preventing UC Santa Cruz from destroying 120 acres of redwood and mixed evergreen forest by doing what seems to work the best, civil disobediance and treesitting. UC Santa Cruz's LRDP(Long Range Development Pan) proposes to develop the 120 acres to provide accomodations for 4,500 new students. You can learn more about the UC Santa Cruz action on their site, where you will also find links descibing the the UC's nefarious plans. Just like Berkeley, the Santa Cruz city council also opposes the plan, but the State UC is above the local law. This is an honorable and admirable action that needs your help. Will you answer the call?


I feel that these above actions demonstrate the willingness of concerned students and activists to risk their lives and freedoms to take a stand against these greedy developers, something I feel is comparable to forest actions in Humboldt County, one of the birthplaces of tree-sitting. It is very inspiring to see these actions pop up along the coast, all of them non-violent peaceful demonstrations of civil disobedience.

Yes, I feel the UC's are elitest corporocrats, without regard for the needs of the students or community, or the planet in that matter. Tuition costs are on the rise. The gap between the upper and lower "classes" is widening, and the ability for middle income students and families to afford upper level education is becoming virtually impossible, furthur exacerbating the problem. Even here in Humboldt, the state university feels that it is more important to spend $350,000 for non-functional and tacky "so-cal-esque" gateways, instead of helping student tuitions, much needed salary increases for students, or for funding of important student programs.

Our trees are disappearing, this is a fact. Whether you live in the city, or the country, the last remnants of our greenspaces are threatened by the greed of corporations. These unaccountable companies are pushing our planet to the brink of extinction. Lately, there has been a lot of media attention towards climate change and our environment. It seems that the trend is to "think green", to live "sustainably" and to fear the coming changes that are happening right now to our entire planet. However, I feel that true meaning of these buzzwords that the media is throwing around are constantly changing and evolving to fit the needs of the elite.

This is a trick in semantics that has been used by the corporate controlled media to squash uprisings and revolutions in the past, and now, under the guise of concern for the environment. There becomes a lot of talk and no action. People begin to feel that they are doing their part, and even a small action such as recycling, justifies their guilt for driving an SUV or funding the war for oil. Does eating organic makes up for the fact that many of the smaller local organic food producers are being bought up by huge corporations? How many petroleum miles did it take for your organic food to make it to your table? How much petroleum based plastics were used to wrap it? And how many slaves from developing countries did it take to harvest your organic food?

The point is, there are actions, and there are ACTIONS! Not all of us can change our surrounding environment, but we can at least try. No one is perfect, I'm definitley not. But what makes us humans our ability to choose. We can choose to listen to Democracy Now!. We can agree with Amy Goodman. We can vote for Dennis Kucinich. These are very small token attempts at making the change we wish to see in the world, and it helps a lot people sleep at night as bombs are killing women and children in Iraq, Falun Gong monks in China are having their organs harvested, and the oceans around the planet are dying. Not to bum you out or anything...

What helps me sleep at night are DIRECT ACTIONS! What justifies my miraculous existance here on this planet are DIRECT ACTIONS! I would jump out of my skin, foam at the mouth, and have a seizure if I didn't try my best to save what is left of this planet. I can't just sit there and let injustice happen. I used to be a part of the problem, now I'm a part of the solution. What are you doing to help? Token donations for corporations such as the Sierra Club or the Republicratic(one in the same) party? Do you drive a Prius covered with petroleum based bumper stickers? That's nice. That's really going to show 'em.

For real change to happen, we all have to be present, as in show up! Be a part of the ACTION, it's what defines us as empowered, free-thinking and concerned human beings. Token gestures are great, and we are all "doing what we can". But for us to be able to tip the scale, we need to send a message to the elite that involves more than a simple email to your congressperson. Find something that you believe in and stand with your brothers and sisters. Or form your own coalition for the planet, for peace, or for whatever inspires you. You want to start a tree-sit in your neck of the woods? Come on up, we'll show you how to do it safely in a non-violent manner. We want to help inspire, teach, and share. I'm sure the above actions can help you do the same. Then take what you have learned to teach and inspire others. There is a urgent need for action here, there, and everywhere around the planet.

They have divided us through concentrating on individuality and our "differences" between each other, making the populace walking "ego-zombies". We need to find our commonalities, which most of us share. We may not always agree on how to do it. That's ok. What matters is being present, able, and willing to make change happen.

Jeff Muskrat

Humboldt Forest Defense

Email: spooner@spoonerdirect.org

These are my own views and expressions, not necessarily those of Humboldt Forest Defense or current tree-sits or actions here in Humboldt or anywhere else for that matter. Please feel free to share, copy, repost and distribute freely to the people wihout fear or hesitation.



3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jeff Muskrat, I could not agree more. Enough standing by and watching the whole damn thing go down the toilet. I am so sick and tired of listening to bull shit from lukewarm political candidates about what "we" as a country need to do to save the earth. Buying more "green" junk made a half a world away and filling our car tanks with food sure isn't the primary answer. Maybe for the corporations who profit from the green fad, but this isn't going to protect the places we love most from bulldozers, chainsaws, and other corporate crimes. One more thing. If you don't already know, check out what our own NPS is doing to eradicate the last remaining genetically intact wild bison population in the United States. Needless slaughtering all for what? Check out http://www.buffalofieldcampaign.org/

bobby fletcher said...

You guys know that Falun Gong's "organ harvesting" allegation has been discredited already, right?

- Most recently by the Ottawa Citizen:

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/observer/story.html?id=2c15d2f0-f0ab-4da9-991a-23e4094de949&p=4

- Undercover investigations by US State Dept and Chinese Dissident Harry Wu also found the allegation not credible:

http://usinfo.state.gov/xarchives/display.html?p=washfile-english&y=2006&m=April&x=20060416141157uhyggep0.5443231&t=livefeeds/wf-latest.html

http://www.usembassy.it/pdf/other/RL33437.pdf

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/20060806_1.htm

It might be good to get down from the tree once a while to get the facts straight 8-)

XANTAR!!!!! said...

Thank you Anonymous, I've been following the Buffalo Field Campaign for quite some time. It is a travesty, and I feel it is comparable to the genocide suffered by the original inhabitants of North America. Those who were fortunate enough to survive the holocaust on the indigenous eventualy were absorbed into the the "gene pool" and white culture. I added the Buffalo Field campaign site to the blog...

As for Bobby, do you know who the most favored trade nation of the US is? It's not Canada, but I believe the Chinese government may have infiltrated your media as well as ours. China has a long history of mistreating it's peoples. Do you remember Tiananmen Square?

China is going through an industrial revolution on a scale that which this planet cannot support. I only hope that they realize that the earth and the citizens who have to live and breathe the pollution will not be able to survive much longer...and the more that the Chinese government mistreats them, the more they will be compelled to rise up against the elite.

Internet Wi-Fi is hard to get in the trees...anyone who wants to get the trees online with the rest of the Matrix is welcome to help us. Not sure if the trees will allow it though, the trees have a habit of tossing technology to the ground. No joke.