Protecting US forests
1st February, 2004
The ongoing battle between US tree-sitters and North America’s big logging firms pitches some of the world’s most determined activists against some of its most ruthless corporations. It is a battle that the tree-sitters simply must not lose.
Phoenix is screaming. He hangs by one leg 160 feet above the forest floor. The man holding onto that leg says he’s dangling him there in order to make him safe. Eric Schatz, of Schatz Tree Service, (whose ad in the Yellow Pages declares, ‘yes, we even rescue cats’) is working for Maxxam Inc/Pacific Lumber (PL) – evicting tree-sitters from old-growth redwoods PL plans to fell. Schatz’s two assistants, Jerry and the appropriately-named Ox, pull Phoenix’s legs back onto the plywood platform that has served as home to several tree-sitters these last four months, but they leave his torso hanging, bent at an unnatural angle. Ox pushes down on his chest, bending him further. Phoenix continues to scream.
Minutes pass. Finally, Phoenix is pulled halfway onto the platform and a rope is put around the back of his neck. Ox uses the rope to bring Phoenix’s face close to his. No one on the ground knows what, if anything, is said. Soon after, with Phoenix’s head and back still over the plywood edge, Ox climbs atop him to stand with both feet on Phoenix’s chest, then puts one foot firmly on his neck.
Phoenix is bound with ropes and lowered to the ground, where...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.