Monday, March 27, 2006

Maxxams’ Pacific Lumber- A Criminal Organization

I wrote this in response the My Word by PLs Land Manager, Rich "Dick" Bettis, in todays Times-Standard.

The Maxxam owned Pacific Lumber Co. is one of the biggest criminals in Humboldt County. They have broken environmental laws over 600 times and have caused widespread environmental and economic damage to this area. The upper management has accepted the leadership of a corporate raider from Texas, Charles Hurwitz (c.e.o. of maxxam), who doesn’t give a damn about the well being of the inhabitants of this county. The fines they pay after breaking these environmental laws are accepted by the company as one of the costs of logging. There are many people who have had their homes damaged or destroyed by logging induced landslides and increased flood danger. There are many others that still live in fear of clearcut hillsides coming down on their house and of their children being poisoned by the large quantities of Herbicide mixed with diesel fuel that is routinely sprayed by PL all over this county.

Rich Bettis mischaracterizes protesters and their actions and this will be readily accepted by many who already believe the lies that he and his colleagues have spread over the years. Its this type of scare tactic that leads to further violence against those who participate in civil disobedience here in this county.
This propaganda is meant to whip up a furor that can lead to real violence and end up with an activist seriously injured or dead. This has happened before, on Sept. 17 1998 an activist named David “Gypsy” Chain was killed by an enraged logger who was cutting trees in a logging plan where PL was engaged in illegal activities. The protesters were there to talk to the logger, terror and violence was how the logger responded. One of the things he shouted was, “Fuck I wish I had my fucking pistol, I guess I’m gonna have to start packin that motherfucker in here”
He then felled trees towards the activists and one of the trees hit David and killed him. This logger was a tool for the company, enraged by the propaganda and recklessly violent in his actions.
Carl Anderson, head of PL security and former sheriff, proudly unzipped the bodybag to display Davids body that day for other logging employees as if it was a trophy. I’m sure there were loggers who were just as disgusted by Carls actions as the people who were with David that day and saw what happened.
Carl Anderson still orders Sheriffs around to this day and they obey. They arrest whoever he says and affectionately call him “Sarge”.

That said, the protest in front of Pls headquarters was a family picnic. There was a car parked in front of the office with three protesters locked inside of it. I saw people in the building smile and wave to us (the crowd of supporters). Richard Bettis walked up, looked under the car, said a few words, and left. People came in and out of the doors freely until PL locked them. Many residents of Scotia and elsewhere gathered around to watch and interact with the protesters. There were crowds of school kids mingling, it was a community event and an effective act of civil disobedience.
He false claims that this was a “fake car bomb” are rooted in his own type of extremism.

Richard Bettis is an extremist in his own right. He would have people believe that local environmental advocates are dangerous terrorists. In fact, protesters have nearly always been on the receiving end of violence perpetrated by logging employees, the police and Rich Bettis himself. He has made crude sexual comments toward female activists on multiple occasions as well as physical attacks on others.
He has produced falsified maps to try and convince the courts that people were trespassing when they were really on public land.

PL has been transformed into a criminal company by people like Charles Hurwitz, Rich Bettis, Robert Manne, and Carl Anderson.


At 3/30/2006 10:00:00 AM, Anonymous Bird Eye said...

Nice one, keep up the good work telling the truth about P.L.'s evil ways. Soon they will go broke from their greed, ha ha ha ha ha.

At 3/30/2006 05:54:00 PM, Blogger saf said...

I think its important to remember that the average PL worker is just as much a victim of Maxxams greedy cut and run scheme as the people whos homes were destroyed by landslides and the species that have been pushed to the brink of extinction by these terrible logging practices.
I believe that the bankruptcy was planned and they are using environmental advocates and regulatory agencies as scapegoats. They are trying to say that if environmental protections aren't loosened then it will be our fault if the workers are fired. What they fail to mention is the huge profit that Maxxam has gained while PL is going broke.
Charles Hurwitz doesn't care about what happens to them and these are often the same desperate people who end up taking out their fear and anger on nonviolent protesters.

At 4/01/2006 07:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds that unless the good working class people of humboldt county grow a set of balls, that your county will be raped and left for dead. you would think that hardworking, manly men like loggers, wouldn't let some pencil neck thugs like Hurwitz and crew poison their families and ruin homes and destroy jobs, but I guess that's what's happening. Your county is just bending over for Hurwitz and asking for a little lube to lessen the pain. Manly men loggers indeed. Just a bunch of pussies.

At 4/02/2006 07:13:00 PM, Blogger saf said...

I was wondering when this type of disruption would begin.
Who ever you are Anon. 7:08 you sound more like an extreme anti-environmentalist trying to discredit people than someone who really cares about the issue.

At 4/04/2006 10:57:00 AM, Anonymous The more you know, the less you need said...

Regarding the post about Bettis's MY WORD (as if his word is worth anything...) I think it would be helpful and informative to send the Save Ancient Forests comment to the Times-Standard as a letter. This is a great website. Keep up the good work.

At 5/09/2006 03:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

rock on!


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