$32.00 donated in past month
On March 30,
defenders of Little Lake Valley in Mendocino County announced the establishment of an action camp to oppose the construction of a four-lane superhighway by CalTrans through Little Lake Valley in the town of Willits.
The CalTrans Bypass project would destroy some of the Valley's last remaining wetlands, draining 86 acres — the largest wetlands fill permit in Northern California in 50 years. It is in the process of destroying oak savannas and oak forests throughout the valley and on surrounding hillsides, and, in the process, generating a massive quantity of CO2 emissions. It would severely damage the local economy, while doing remarkably little to prevent traffic congestion.
Resistance to the project has taken the form of tree sits, and on March 28
, the tree-sitter known as "Warbler" embarked on a hunger strike. On April 2,
the tree-sitters were forcibly removed by the California Highway Patrol, but Warbler has become an icon in the fast-growing campaign in opposition to the Caltrans Bypass project, and her hunger strike continues.
Read More |
Democrat Gov Brown sends CHP with rubber bullets against tree sitters |
Warbler’s Hunger Strike Continues! – Day 7 |
Save Little Lake Valley
On February 15, the Pit River Tribe unanimously affirmed a resolution opposing geothermal and other industrial developments in the sacred Medicine Lake Highlands. The resolution affirms that geothermal development would threaten the underlying aquifer and would result in the injection of toxins into the atmosphere and waters.
Thirty Earth First! activists protesting Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) logging practices rallied peacefully outside the gates of SPI’s Arcata mill on August 6th, demanding a stop to the company’s logging of old-growth. “We’re here to expose SPI’s destructive logging” said Jeremy Jensen. “They claim to be sustainable under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative label but SPI intensively clear-cuts and logs old-growth forests all over California.” Demonstrators blocked the logging truck entrance to the mill, holding banners reading “SFI is a scam” and “Stop old-growth logging.” They stood in front of a truck trying to enter the mill, disrupting logging traffic for over half an hour. Earlier in the day, an activist was handcuffed and detained by police in Arcata while hanging a banner on an overpass that read “Sierra Pacific Logs Old-growth”. He was later released with a warning.
The activists cite two examples of SPI’s clear-cutting and old-growth logging plans in Humboldt County. One, a 245 acre logging plan in the Mattole River and Bear River watersheds, and another in Redwood Creek totaling 241 acres.
UPDATE 8/7: Ankah was bonded out of jail just before 6pm. Her friends report that she will still need continued support.
Anna Karewicz, who is known to her friends as Ankah, is a puppeteer, artist, and avid community gardener who lives in Oakland. On Thursday, August 2nd, the group with which she was bicycle touring in Northern California mistakenly rode on the wrong side of the street on a city block in Arcata. The group was stopped by police. The other riders received traffic infraction citations and were allowed to go on their way. Ankah, however, was subjected to questioning as if the officer was an agent of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), as the only identification that she presented was a student id card. The officer asked questions such as, "When did your visa expire? Are you illegal? When did you become illegal? When did your student visa expire?" Ankah was taken into custody with an ICE hold, and she could be deported at any time.
Ankah's friends are calling for her release, as they believe that the local police were out of their jurisdiction in asking questions about her immigration status. They are requesting that people sign an online petition
requesting her release, and contact the Humboldt County Sheriff's department and other officials to demand that Anna Karewicz be set free. Additionally, donations are needed to cover Ankah's legal expenses.
Redwood Curtain CopWatch writes:
The current civil rights trial in Oakland about the Eureka police murder of Martin Frederick Cotton II resumes Wednesday, September 21st
. Four years ago, Martin was 26 years old, unarmed and living on the streets when he was killed by the Eureka Police when they pummeled his body in broad daylight, in front of a homeless shelter (Eureka Rescue Mission), then brought him to the jail to die. Cotton family supporters who are deeply opposed to police violence, rallied in front of the Oakland courthouse on the first day of trial (Sept 12) and have been present in the courtroom while attorneys Vicki Sarmiento and Dale Galipo represent Martin's six year old daughter, Siehna, and her grandfather, Martin Cotton Sr. The case, Siehna Cotton et al v. City of Eureka is being heard before U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong and a seven person jury. Martin's story has spread beyond the “Redwood Curtain”.
Marty Cotton, Sr. says, “We want to expose the truth, ideally, so those cops can never wear a badge and weaponry and never do this to anyone else again.” One consistent observer of the trial said “The cops are claiming that they pepper-sprayed Martin, got on top of him and beat him repeatedly, even with a metal baton, just to get Martin's hands out from under him. It is absurd, or more accurately, obscene...and it killed him.” Also, the officers testified that they did not think Martin was hurt and did nothing to get him checked out or treated — after “exhausting” themselves beating and spraying him. A video of Martin dying in the jail cell was shown at trial.
A press conference
was held September 21st, in front of the Federal Building in Oakland. Video
On September 23rd, Martin Cotton Family Awarded Over $4.5 Million in Trial Against Eureka Police, Interview: Video
Read More |
Short Update (9/14/11) from Martin Cotton Trial in Oakland: Eureka Cops Beat Him To Death |
First Day of Civil Rights Trial About Fatal Police Beating of Martin Cotton |
County settles wrongful death suit; claim against EPD, sheriff's office stems from 2007 |
Rally & Civil Trial Against Killer Cops |
Redwood Curtain CopWatch
Previous Related Indybay Feature:
Cops Who Beat Martin Cotton to Death in Humboldt Face Trial in Oakland
Prisoners in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California announced that they are beginning an indefinite hunger strike on July 1st
to protest the conditions of their imprisonment, which they say are cruel and inhumane. An online petition
has been started by supporters of the strikers. While noting that the hunger strike is being "organized by prisoners in an unusual show of racial unity," five key demands are listed by California Prison Focus
Eliminate group punishments; 2)
Abolish the debriefing policy and modify active/inactive gang status criteria; 3)
Comply with the recommendations of the US Commission on Safety and Abuse in Prisons (2006) regarding an end to long term solitary confinement; 4)
Provide adequate food; 5)
Expand and provide constructive programs and privileges for indefinite SHU inmates.
The CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation prides itself on Pelican Bay being "the end of the line," and is part of a continuation since the 1960s of prisons using solitary confinement as a main tactic to crush rebellion and resistance.
Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity
states, "As anti-authoritarians and anarchists, this is a crucial moment to show our solidarity with those on the inside who are ready to die in their fight for dignity and the most basic necessities of life that the state continues to deny. This will be the third major hunger strike in a US prison in the past year and those of us fighting on the outside need to make a visible show of support for this wave of prisoner-led organizing."
Hunger Strike Grows and CDCR Lies about Numbers |
SF and Oakland Demos: "Pelican Bay Brothers: We Hear You, We're With You!" |
Prisoners at Pelican Bay Begin Hunger Strike |
The Living Hell in Pelican Bay Prison |
July 1st Event Announcement |
Urgent Request for Solidarity Actions |
Solitary Watch on Pelican Bay Hunger Strike, Hugo Pinell, and Torture in US Prisons |
Will Jerry Brown Close Pelican Bay Prison? |
Pelican Bay Criminalizes the Oppressed for Organizing |
Isolation Units in U.S. Prisons panel discussion, San Francisco, 4/5/11
After six months of organizing rallies and actions behind the "redwood curtain" protesting CalTrans' plan to expand Highway 101 through Richardson Grove State Park, Richardson Grove Action Now (RGAN) took the fight to the state capital in Sacramento, where they carried out a flash mob action. The highway expansion plan threatens some of the last 2% remaining ancient redwoods on Earth.
RGAN activists rode on the White Rose bus to Oakland, Sacramento, and Glen Cove, Vallejo to mobilize resistance to the highway expansion, demonstrate at the Capitol, and connect with an ongoing spiritual encampment established to stave off development on a sacred indigenous burial shellmound site in Glen Cove. RGAN's Verbena Lea says, “Worldwide, people are opposed to harming or cutting ancient redwood forests, which CalTrans plans to do; ancient redwoods have all but been wiped off the face of the earth and, like the people at Glen Cove, we are saying to developers, government and corporations, 'You have already desecrated and taken too much — We're stopping you here.'”
The road widening would mutilate an ancient grove in order to facilitate trans-national corporations, nuclear materials, development, and military having greater access to the Humboldt Bay region, which has been relatively protected by forest bottlenecks and winding roads. Highways 199, 299, and 36, entering the region from the east, are next in line for highway expansion.
Read More | previous coverage: Protest as Caltrans Prepares to Widen US-101 Thru Richardson Grove
Caltrans plans to take down some 54 trees in the Richardson Grove, and pave over the roots of many old-growth trees, in order to widen and straighten US-101 in southern Humboldt County. Reported to contain the 9th largest tree of all remaining coast redwoods, local residents refer to the Richardson Grove as the edge of the "Redwood Curtain."
Studies show that removing redwoods from a grove can have adverse affects on the root systems of remaining massive old-growth redwoods, causing death to unintended trees and habitat. Local residents also say the highway expansion project will lead to unlimited commercial development in Humboldt County.
Under the banner "protect the forest and our future, resist invasion," preservation groups and community members against the project have called for a mass rally
at Caltrans District 1 headquarters in Eureka on Monday, February 7th and over 200 came to demonstrate against the highway expansion. Twelve people were arrested.
200+ Protest Road Widening Through Richardson Grove at CalTrans, 12 arrested |
Jan. 23rd report from the grove
Groups Vow Legal Challenge Against Highway Widening Threatening Ancient Humboldt Redwoods
Photo credit: Caltrans