I need to do some direct action that will put myself right on the front
line of an issue to really stop some of the heinous injustices that
are going on with our planet and with ourselves, and every species,
Have you had much support, aside from the other activists who are camping
out with you?
The support is overwhelming. When you have Mayor Vera Katz writing a
very supportive letter encouraging Region 6 Forester Harv Forsgren to
cancel the sale; when Senator Ron Wyden, Representatives David Woo and
Earl Blumenauer, the city council, the county commissioners, and much
of the public are here, it's not to hard to realize that it's an issue
which affects us all, and most people are very, very supportive, actually.
I can hear cars honking in the background and that sounds like support.
Have you had anyone yelling insults at you?
Very, very few, actually. The fact is, we're defending over 500 acres
of roadless area, we're defending a watershed that is the water supply
to over 185,000 Oregonians. This is a breeding ground for salmon, and
clear cutting clearly destroys the salmon eggs, leading further to their
probable extinction. It's also a breeding ground for endangered species
(Spotted Owl). So this is an issue that concerns us all, and that all
of us are starting to address.
thing is that Eagle Creek was sold under the Salvage Rider Law back
in 1996. It suspended all environmental laws for a certain amount of
time, which is why we're protesting it. Under current laws, it would
be illegal. But it can't be challenged in court. It's only defense is
us, "we the people" defending it. Non-violently giving our lives, our
money, our freedom to protect our land and our watershed and our trees.
This is it. All the rest (Salvage Rider Sales) have been cut.
What are you going to do when the police come to force you down?
I can't speak to the future. I can only speak to the present. The future
doesn't exist. Right now I'm staying up here until this is over.
down on July 17 under orders from Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge
Ed Jones. He cleaned up the ledge before making a short speech to hundreds
of supporters and onlookers.
about me or you, it's about all of us coming together as one.
We can no
longer take the abuse. We are destroying our land. The government and
the corporations are lying to us. It's time we realize we can no longer
take the slaughter of our rights, the slaughter of our health, the slaughter
of our planet in the name of greed. They're slaughtering the planet
in the name of corporate dollars and greed. But this action has been
a huge success, a humongous catalyst so we can take back our power and
ensure justice across the land."
Arrow waved to one of the circling newscopters, turned and blew kisses
at the photographers and federal employees in the lounge, then rappelled
down the front of the building, pausing just above everyone's head to
turn upside down and flash the peace sign. He dropped to the sidewalk
where he was embraced by a number of his supporters and swamped by no
fewer than four TV news cameras and almost a dozen microphones.
no choice but to come down if I wanted to avoid a violent confrontation,"
he said, "and I am not a violent person. Let it be known I am for peace,
and for spreading health.
not over by a long shot! Everyone get on buildings! Everyone get to
the woods. I love you."
surrendered to the Portland police, who transported him to the downtown
Justice Center jail where he was charged with criminal trespass and
contempt of court, and then released on his own recognizance. That was
when the press learned his real name, Michael James Scarpitti. When
he was arraigned the next day, the trespass charge was dropped, leaving
him facing only the contempt of court charge. After consulting attorneys
Greg Kafoury and Stuart Sugerman, Arrow agreed to plead guilty at a
final hearing in early August. There was no sense fighting the charge--the
entire town saw him staying on the ledge after he was ordered to come
down. But more than that, civil disobedience protesters intend to face
the consequences of their actions--that's what makes their protests
of civil disobedience is you take your punishment," says Kafoury. "People
who really believe in something and who are willing to put their necks
on the line are very threatening to most people."
Forest Alliance can be reached at 241-4879. Their website is cascadiaforetsalliance.org.