CHICAGO, Illinois, July 25, 2001 (ENS) – Twenty national environmental and social justice activists, authors and musicians were arrested near Chicago today as they protested the practices of timber giant Boise Cascade.
After a press conference this morning at which the activists claimed that the timber company has mounted “a crusade to silence critics of its logging practices,” the group conducted a protest at Boise Cascade’s Office Products headquarters in nearby Itasca, Illinois.
“Boise Cascade has launched a covert campaign designed to limit free speech and muzzle critics of its old growth logging operations,” asserted John Passacantando, executive director of Greenpeace USA, one of those taken into custody by police.
“As an American citizen, I’m here to support our fundamental right to free speech – to peaceably encourage a healthy debate of all sides of the issues,” said Raitt, who was also arrested. “The smear tactics of attributing dangerous and illegal activities to responsible, environmental public advocacy groups clearly opposed to such tactics, I find both reprehensible and undemocratic.”
The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) says that Boise Cascade has harassed the group’s funders, and has tried to smear RAN by attempting to link the organization to acts of eco-sabotage which it did not commit. “Most recently, the anti-environmental coalition is striking at the heart of American democracy, attacking the 501(c)(3) non-profit status of organizations that participate in non-violent civil disobedience,” RAN said today.
RAN claims that because the timber company has been the target of an intense public campaign for more than a year, that Boise Cascade has begun attacking critics of its logging operations as part of an alliance with Wise Use groups Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and Frontiers of Freedom Institute.But wait, there's more!