Forest activists attacked in the Upper Florentine Valley, Tassie
A peaceful action by conservationists in the Upper Florentine was targeted by violent logging contractors, with one activist kicked in the head and blockade infrastructure attacked with a sledgehammer, seriously endangering two activists.This occurred while a Forestry Tasmania employee watched on.
“Members of the Tasmanian community engaged in legitimate peaceful protest in defence of ancient forests should not be subjected to this kind of violence, nor should it be condoned by Forestry Tasmania employees” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokeperson Ula Majewski.
“Due to the carbon-storage value of this forest, the contentious nature of this logging operation and today’s violence, Still Wild Still Threatened requests an immediate cessation of logging in coupe FO042E” Ula Majewski said.
“Violence of this kind is perpetrated by a small minority of logging contractors. Contractors such as Howell’s Logging should focus their anger on those who are endangering their livelihoods, such as Forestry Tasmania and Gunns Limited, who continue to damage Tasmanian communities and forests with an unsustainable, woodchip based industry” Ula Majewski said.
“Activists will be pursuing this matter with the police” said Miss Majewski.
The Hobart Mercury reported that Forestry had denied one of their staff witnessed any confrontation. In the video above you can see this is a complete lie as the Forestry Tasmania employee (wearing a yellow hard hat) leans down and warns one of the protestors before the loggers go ape.
And then a few days later:
Friday, 24th October 2008
Activist cars torched in the Upper Florentine Valley, Tasmania
Late last night, two cars belonging to peaceful forest activists were set on fire at a community blockade in the Upper Florentine Valley. A number of unknown individuals arrived at ‘Camp Florentine’ around 11:30pm and used jerry cans of petrol to set the vehicles on fire. A forest activist who was sleeping in the vicinity of the vehicles was woken by shouting and loud smashing. A forest information booth provided for tourists was also set on fire and a gas cooker inside the booth exploded.
“These violent attacks against peaceful community activists are an absolute disgrace. It is incumbent upon the Tasmanian Government to find a resolution to these conflicts by protecting our precious old growth forests and compensating logging contractors” said Still Wild Still Threatened spokesperson Ula Majewski.
“Tasmanian forest defenders who are peacefully standing up against the devastation of our old growth forests should not be subjected to this kind of barbaric, vigilante behaviour” said Miss Majewski.
“We will continue to speak out against the continued decimation of the irreplaceable carbon dense forests of the Styx, Weld and Upper Florentine Valleys” said Miss Majewski.
The incident has been reported to the Tasmanian Police.