(en) HEADWATERS Update 7 Nov.

Robert Cherwink (rc@vom.com)
Fri, 7 Nov 1997 17:53:05 -0800

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA

HEADWATERS PROTESTERS TORTURED BY SHERIFFS Shocking footage shows deputies applying chemical agent directly on eyes of passive protesters

See "www.HeadwatersForest.org" for the entire story (includes articles from the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, CNN, MSNBC, and ABC, and links to video on the Web of the brutal pepper spraying incident).

----------------------- UPDATES 7 Nov -----------------------

1. Riggs decries "rush to judgment" - Press Democrat Nov. 6, 1997

2. Riggs says protesters' tape backs his claims - Press Democrat Nov. 7, 1997

3. H E A D W A T E R S F O R E S T U P D A T E - 11-04-97 PEPPER SPRAY INSANITY - Restraining order sought against pepper spray use



FYI: Congressman Riggs' office telephone number is: 707-441-8701

The telephone number of the Humboldt County Sheriff Department is 707-445-7251

----------------------- 1. Riggs decries "rush to judgment" - Press Democrat Nov. 6, 1997 -----------------------

from pressdemo.com

Nov. 6, 1997

Riggs decries "rush to judgment"

By MIKE GENIELLA Press Democrat staff writer

North Coast Rep. Frank Riggs finds himself in the national limelight, but he's hardly basking in the attention.

Riggs at times Wednesday sounded like a man who fears his political career might be swept away by adverse public opinion about his dogged defense of the use of pepper spray against nonviolent Headwaters Forest protesters by Humboldt County sheriff's deputies.

Outside his sprawling district and around the country, Riggs acknowledged that public response to his stance seems almost universally negative, typified by continuous TV coverage and strongly worded editorials of condemnation in national newspapers, such as the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

"Frankly, I wasn't prepared for the invective being hurled my way by pundits in the national news media and others who are being driven by a rush to judgment," he said.

But the Windsor Republican is banking that closer to home -- especially in the northern part of his district where timber remains king and he's politically the strongest -- voters are more sympathetic to his controversial position.

Riggs, a former Sonoma County sheriff's deputy, has been under fire since he made a spirited speech on the floor of the House defending a new tactic employed by Humboldt County sheriff's deputies. The deputies swabbed liquid pepper spray on the eyelids of protesters, including a 16-year- old girl, as a way to force them to release themselves from devices they were using to prevent their removal from Riggs' Eureka office.

Riggs' top aide, Beau Phillips, conceded most calls from within the sprawling 1st Congressional District remain critical but said they are becoming "more in balance" as each day passes.

And in Humboldt County, where about 25 percent of the district's voters live, Phillips said Riggs' stand is being applauded.

In Eureka, news talk radio station KINS polls listeners every day about issues in the news, and on Tuesday several hundred callers responded to a question about whether local law enforcement actions, including the use of liquid pepper spray on the demonstrators, were appropriate.

Station representative Theresa Wold said 86 percent replied yes.

Riggs said Wednesday the results give him some solace. When the "media frenzy dies down and more and more people are able to take a calm look at what happened, they're going to be a lot more sympathetic to what I'm saying," he said.

So far, however, the reaction from outside his district has been less than enthusiastic. A police videotape of one of the swabbing incidents, which was aired nationally for several nights after its disclosure last week, prompted the Los Angeles Times to opine Monday that "On this one, the jury is in. Swabbing of protesters' eyes is a picture of brutality."

The New York Times editorialized Tuesday that Riggs' defense "seems bizarre in light of the abuse documented on police videotape."

Bizarre also was a word used by state Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who will challenge Riggs for the North Coast congressional seat next year.

"He's entitled to his own opinion, however bizarre it may be," Thompson said. "Unfortunately, he's done more than just air his opinions. He's brought national embarrassment to our district."

Thompson, who's asked for an independent state investigation into the pepper spray incidents, said he found the police videos "shocking, disgusting and painful to watch."

Political experts differed on what price Riggs might pay politically for his early and outspoken defense of the tactic used by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office.

Jedon Emenhiser, a Humboldt State University political science professor, said the pepper spray issue will stick to Riggs even though the election is a year away.

"I'm sure his opponents are making sound bites from the videotapes at this very moment," Emenhiser said.

"The tapes are so graphic that people aren't likely to forget them. And Riggs' angry remarks from the floor of the House and aide Beau Phillips' quick descriptions of the protesters as "terrorists' are too good to ignore," he said.

A longtime North Coast Republican Party activist who asked not to be identified said the political fallout could be enormous:

"There's so much emotion generated by the videotapes, and in an era when appearances matter over substance, it's not important how good a defense Frank can mount. The public perception is that the cops brutalized young, innocent protesters."

But Ray McNally, a top Republican political consultant, said he sees few long-term implications for Riggs.

"He wasn't there using the pepper spray himself. He simply defended his office staff and law enforcement who came to their aid. I think his detractors will have a very hard time trying to attach the larger issue of pepper spray use to Riggs," McNally said.

Brian Sobel, a Republican Party activist and political consultant in Sonoma County, agreed.

"People who know Frank know that he's very principled. He was reacting as much in defense of his staff as he was law enforcement," he said.

Sobel said what Riggs is trying to do is get the public to understand that the demonstrators provoked the incidents -- that their taking over of a congressional office is "not right. It's not fair."

"They invaded a public office and refused to leave. They are the ones who raised the ante," he said.

Riggs blamed the pounding he's taking nationwide on longtime North Coast environmental activists "who have orchestrated all of this with an eye toward generating as much media attention to their cause as possible."

Riggs pointed out that demonstrators didn't widely protest the pepper spray incidents when they occurred, but waited for their lawyers to release the dramatic videos during a news conferrence in San Francisco on the eve of the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit.

A third video provided to the media this week by demonstrators that shows protesters behaving peacefully in his Eureka office is a distortion of what actually happened, according to Riggs and his aides.

"It's edited. It doesn't show the men wearing ski masks who burst into the office, terrifying the staff," Phillips said.

Phillips said what activists and their attorneys are doing is an "eloquent example of media manipulation. But it's no surprise to people who have witnessed the kind of deception that's been practiced by Earth First! and its followers on the North Coast for the past decade."

Arcata attorney Mark Harris, who triggered the national furor when he released the police videos last week, said Riggs and his staff miss the crucial point that underscores the controversy.

"This is not about the theater of politics. This is about police ethics. It was wrong what they did and Frank Riggs should acknowledge that. That's why the public reaction is so strong. They know he and the cops just don't get it," Harris said.

Copyright 1997, The Press Democrat

----------------------- 2. Riggs says protesters' tape backs his claims - Press Democrat Nov. 7, 1997 -----------------------

from pressdemo.com Nov. 7, 1997

Riggs says protesters' tape backs his claims

By MIKE GENIELLA Press Democrat staff writer

Stepping up his attacks on environmental activists' version of events surrounding a disputed protest at his Eureka office, Rep. Frank Riggs said Thursday that images of a hooded man captured on their own videotape confirms his staff's account that they initially were "terrorized" by masked intruders. "The images are crucial because they speak to the credibility of people on both sides. It brings us a little bit closer to the truth on what happened that day," Riggs said.

At issue are disputed versions of a Headwaters Forest protest at Riggs' district office, where four demonstrators had their eyelids swabbed with a liquid form of pepper spray to force them to release themselves from devices they were using to prevent their removal. The incident was captured on police videotapes that have received continuous TV coverage, and fueled a national debate over the proper use of the chemical by law enforcement.

Riggs has been a staunch supporter of authorities' actions, contending the protesters "terrorized" his office staff and forced deputies to take drastic steps to remove them from the office. His defense of his staff's version of events, and of officers' use of the pepper spray, were a response to the tapes that were released in conjunction with the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit.

Earth First! activists followed up the lawsuit this week by releasing their own videotape of portions of the Riggs' demonstration in a bid to refute the congressman's contentions that protesters had harassed his staff. The two- minute clip shows four women wandering casually through the office and chatting amicably with office personnel before chaining themselves to a tree stump that had been dumped on the office floor.

CBS News aired the tape Wednesday night while questioning Riggs about his stance.

During the broadcast, a frame of the videotape frozen on screen revealed the image of a hooded man dressed in dark clothing rushing out of Riggs' office.

Riggs said Thursday that image confirms staff accounts that masked intruders first ran screaming into the Eureka office before four female protesters arrived.

Riggs said activists and their lawyers repeatedly have denied the presence of masked intruders at his office that day.

Activists who released the videotape could not be reached Thursday to comment on the captured image, or Riggs' latest contentions.

Ed O'Leary, who is working with attorney Mark Harris on the protesters' lawsuit, said Thursday that Riggs' contentions are unwarranted despite the image.

"The tape speaks for itself. It clearly shows how peaceful things actually were," he said.

In a related move Thursday that triggered a new round of criticism from environmental leaders, Humboldt County authorities said they plan to file more criminal charges against the protesters who took over Riggs' office.

The move underscores the hard-line stance taken by local authorities despite the national uproar over their use of pepper spray.

"It's unbelieveable. They just keep plowing ahead," said attorney Harris, who represents three of four demonstrators charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest, trespass and interference with Riggs' office operation. Prosecutors today will attempt to amend their criminal complaint to add vandalism charges.

Harris on Thursday accused the District Attorney's Office of being biased against environmental activists who have engaged in a nearly decade-old series of protests against corporate logging practices.

Harris specifically cited a recent admission by District Attorney Terry Farmer -- whose wife, Bonnie Neely, is chairwoman of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors -- that he attended a meeting with law enforcement leaders several weeks ago when decisions were made to use pepper spray on protesters.

"The defense intends to show that the District Attorney's bias against forest activists in general, and these defendants in particular, rises to the level of being violative of their due process rights and of course their right to be free from invidious, retaliatory and selective prosecution at the hands of political adversaries within this county's government," Harris declared in new documents filed Thursday with local Superior Court Judge Marilyn Miles, who is overseeing the criminal case against protesters.

Harris said his three clients -- Lisa Sanderson-Fox, Jennifer Schneider and Terri Slanetz -- have been "singled out and subjected to discriminatory prosecution and excessive punishment for their individual roles as participants in the protest at Congressman Riggs' office." The three women range in age from 28 to 34. A 16-year-old juvenile who accompanied them during the protest was not charged.

District Attorney Farmer could not be reached Thursday for comment on the bias allegations.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Isaac, who is handling prosecution of the three protesters, confirmed that he intends to ask Miles for permission to amend the charges to include vandalism.

"It's not unusual for our office to amend criminal complaints after reviewing reports and related documents," Isaac said.

Isaac formally notified Harris this week that he's ready to go to trial as scheduled Nov. 17. "We see no reasons for any delays," Isaac said.

Copyright 1997, The Press Democrat

----------------------- 3. H E A D W A T E R S F O R E S T U P D A T E - 11-04-97 -----------------------

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 01:30:43 -0800 Reply-To: Headwaters@enews.org Sender: owner-headwaters@envirolink.org From: Headwaters News <Headwaters@enews.org> Subject: UPDATE: Pepper spray restraining order sought...

H E A D W A T E R S F O R E S T U P D A T E Update 11-04-97 -- Tuesday, November 4, 1997 [Look for the adjoining Action Alert]

PEPPER SPRAY INSANITY Restraining order sought against pepper spray use

Attorneys for the nonviolent activists who were pepper-sprayed by Humboldt County law enforcement officials will be seeking a restraining order against use of pepper spray in federal court this week. "I'm not ashamed of what we've done," said Humboldt County Sheriff Dennis Lewis in the Press Democrat on Tuesday. "We have a good record, and we will stand on it." There has been considerable media coverage around the cruel treatment these young activists received at the hands of the police who applied pepper spray directly into the activists' eyes. Unfortunately, the issues behind the protests that led to the pepper-spraying incidents have been too often lost in the media hype. A rally to support the activists AND the issues they were fighting for -- full protection of Headwaters Forest -- was held on the steps of the California Department of Forestry in Sacramento on Monday, with about 200 in attendance. Nine protesters also staged a sit-in at the Resources Agency offices, locking themselves together for about four hours before police removed them under arrest. Rally organizer Robert Parker told the crowd, "The Headwaters protection issue goes right to the heart of government accountability and public trust." A silent candlelight vigil has been announced for next Tuesday, November 11, outside the courthouse and Sheriff's Department in Eureka, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. Please spread the word. Tell people to bring candles and umbrellas if it rains. The telephone number of the Humboldt County Sheriff Department is 707-445-7251.

The pepper spray incidents have ignited a firestorm of national and international outrage. Some online articles about and discussions of the event can be found at:

http://www.cnn.com/EARTH/9710/31/pepper.spray.update (articles & video) http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/morse (Rob Morse's great 11/2 editorial) http://www.examiner.com/daily/ (continuing coverage) http://www.headwatersforest.org/news/ (links to other articles)



One of the most exciting strategies being pursued to protect not only Headwaters but forests across California is a proposed forestry reform initiative. This initiative has been submitted for ballot placement with the Attorney General, and should be returned, with title and summary, in less than a month. Here's what it would do:

1) Ban the deposition of material harmful to water and fish habitat into streams. This ban would apply to industrial timberland owners who control more than 5,000 acres, and to companies that bid on timber sales in the National Forests and on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. This approach is based largely on the very successful Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, which passed in 1986 with more than 60 percent of the vote. The key to this will be a citizen enforcement provision. As with Prop. 65, citizen enforcement means increased enforcement with no additional costs to state agencies.

2) Provide for state implementation of pertinent requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. It will require Regional Water Boards to develop permitting to prevent further water quality degradation. Citizens will be allowed to sue both the Regional Water Boards for not developing strict enough requirements and timber companies for violating permit requirements. To minimize fiscal impacts, agencies will be required to charge permitting fees that will offset all agency costs.

3) Ban clearcutting on private lands. It will also designate all trees living when California became a state (in 1850) as "Heritage Trees," that must be specifically identified in timber harvest plans. Any Heritage Trees that are to be logged must be publicly noticed. In addition, the lumber must be identified as having been milled from a Heritage Tree.

Almost half a million dollars must be raised to collect the signatures to put this measure on the ballot. If you would like to contribute or volunteer to collect signatures, please call Therese at Next Generation at 510-444-4710, or mail a check to Next Generation at 1904 Franklin St. Suite 909, Oakland CA 94612 (If this address sounds familiar, its because Next Generation shares an office with Headwaters Sanctuary Project. Next Generation is the environmental consulting firm hired to run the initiative campaign.)


GARAMENDI LECTURES COMMONWEALTH CLUB IN SAN FRANCISCO Headwaters supporters lecture him on protection for all six groves

When Deputy Secretary of the Interior John Garamendi arrived at the Commonwealth Club last Thursday, he was met with a phalanx of Headwaters supporters concerned about protection for the 60,000-acre forest. Robert Parker of the Trees Foundation handed a copy of the Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan to the Deputy Secretary and asked why conservationists have been left out of the negotiations. Others asked for a presidential veto of the Interior Appropriations Bill currently on the president's desk. While apparently agreeing that some of the anti-environmental riders attached to the Interior Bill were harmful, Garamendi argued that the anti-Headwaters riders were innocuous. Susan Stephenson of Headwaters Sanctuary Project asked what assurances the administration could offer citizens concerned about protection for the entire 60,000 acres, to which Garamendi responded, "I'll see you 60,000 and raise you to 210,000!" implying that the Habitat Conservation Plan would be so strong that species throughout Pacific Lumber's holdings would be protected. (We'll believe that when we see it!)



Apparently embarrassed by the furor over the pepper-spraying of nonviolent Headwaters protesters, President Clinton did not sign the Interior Appropriations bill last Friday as many observers expected. The bill contains funding for the Headwaters Forest agreement, as well as including some destructive amendments added by Don Young and other hostile Republicans, along with numerous other destructive riders and provisions. During conference committee negotiations over the appropriations package, numerous political deals were struck that could ultimately affect the fate of a large portion of Headwaters Forest.



Two slide show presentations/organizing meetings, sponsored by Headwaters Sanctuary Project and CalPIRG, will take place in Los Angeles this week. The first will be at Kinsey Hall on UCLA campus on Wed, November 5, and the second will be at the Griffith Park Ranger Station on Thursday, November 6. Both presentations begin at 7:30. For more information please call Headwaters Sanctuary Project at 510-444-4710, or email susans@nextgeneration.org



On January 15, people will gather across northern California for an interfaith Prayer for the Redwoods. There is something about an ancient redwood forest of 300-foot-tall, 2,000-year-old trees that inspires awestruck tones of reverence, and comparisons to cathedrals and sanctuaries. It is the strong spiritual resonance of this rare ecosystem, a living link to the age of the dinosaurs, that is moving congregations of all faiths to get involved in the struggle to save Headwaters Forest. The Prayer for the Redwoods is an opportunity for the faith community to come together to speak up for this magnificent part of God's creation. Clergy-led prayers and statements urging the permanent preservation of the forest will take place at noon on Wednesday, January 15, in downtown plazas and parks in at least a dozen northern California cities. Churches, temples, and mosques across northern California will be sponsoring this public day of prayer. To spread the word to your congregation or to help with organizing in your city, please contact the Headwaters Sanctuary Project at 510-444-4710, or email susans@nextgeneration.org



SHAW CREEK GROVE AND RESIDUALS, including Right Side Road 9 (approximately 590 acres) This substantially intact tract of old-growth redwoods and Douglas fir, ranging from 1,250 to 1,800 feet, remains at its core unentered and pristine. It straddles Shaw Creek, providing important shade to keep water temperatures low. This drainage is some of the best coho salmon spawning habitat in the Yager/Lawrence creek system. Incremental clearcutting has taken place all around the perimeter of the core stand. The gently sloping topography has helped to create the environment for numerous gigantic redwoods and Douglas firs. Many small cascading streams flow through the thick undergrowth. Incursions into the upper watershed have resulted in a need for restoration and revegetation.

From the Headwaters Forest Stewardship Plan, Oct. 1997. To view a map of the Headwaters Forest, aim your browser at... http://www.headwatersforest.org/about/about_HWF.html

------------------------------------------------------------ S E N T B Y Headwaters Sanctuary Project and Bay Area Action. Repost at will -- Please include all attributions & contact info. www.HeadwatersForest.org | headwaters@enews.org ------------------------------------------------------------

T O S U B S C R I B E Send a message to listproc@envirolink.org with only the following in the body: subscribe Headwaters YourFirstName YourLastName CompanyOrOrganization Replace the appropriate words with your name and any affiliation. Note: You must send from the account at which you wish to receive messages.

----------------------- 4. H E A D W A T E R S A C T I O N A L E R T - 11-04-97 -----------------------

Date: Thu, 6 Nov 1997 01:38:29 -0800 Reply-To: Headwaters@enews.org Sender: owner-headwaters@envirolink.org From: Headwaters News <Headwaters@enews.org> Subject: ACTION: Still time to veto!

H E A D W A T E R S A C T I O N A L E R T N o v e m b e r 4 , 1 9 9 7 [Look for the adjoining Weekly Update]


You still have a chance to urge a veto of the Interior Appropriations bill. Although the Clinton administration is hearing from many environmentalists opposed to this bill, they need to hear from Headwaters supporters as well. Please contact the following people to demand a veto...

President Clinton phone: 202-456-1111 fax: 202-456-2461 email: president@whitehouse.gov

Kathleen A. McGinty, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality phone: 202-456-6224 fax: 202-456-2710

Franklin Raines, Director, Office of Management & Budget phone: 202-395-4840 fax: 202-395-3888

You can make the following points in your message to the administration...

---> Provisions specific to authorization of the Headwaters Forest appropriation could further weaken the Habitat Conservation Planning process, resulting in further damage to ancient redwood forests and dependent wildlife, including endangered and threatened species.

---> Provisions requiring Congress to specifically authorize Land and Water Conservation Fund expenditures will impede future land acquisitions through a cynical and potentially destructive bargaining process similar to the one surrounding this year's Interior bill.

---> The rider calling for elimination of caps on Purchaser Road Credits will continue an environmentally destructive and fiscally irresponsible subsidy of corporate road-building in our publicly-owned National Forests.

---> The rider postponing management reforms to address grazing-related environmental damage on National Forest lands will allow continued degradation of watershed stability, water quality, and aquatic ecosystems throughout the Southwest.

------------------------------------------------------------ S E N T B Y Headwaters Sanctuary Project and Bay Area Action. Repost at will -- Please include all attributions & contact info. www.HeadwatersForest.org | headwaters@enews.org ------------------------------------------------------------

T O S U B S C R I B E Send a message to listproc@envirolink.org with only the following in the body: subscribe Headwaters YourFirstName YourLastName CompanyOrOrganization Replace the appropriate words with your name and any affiliation. Note: You must send from the account at which you wish to receive messages.

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Peace! Rob, Sector Air Raid Warden at Rob's Place A SITE DEDICATED TO SPIRIT, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM http://www.vom.com/rc/home.htm


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