An article from Do or Die Issue 6. In the paper edition, this article appears on page(s) 135.
The news from Australia is that activists are back blockading in the forest . We have a base camp set up in an idyllic warm temperate rainforest area of East Gippsland, where a resident sooty owl calls and a pristine river flows. There are tree ferns 35 feet high, older than science can guess, but as slender as saplings. The light through their latticed umbrellas makes enchanting dapples on the leaf litter. Nearby under the vines, lilly-pillies drop their edible fruit. Along the river there are ancient granite boulders like the cracked eggs of a huge serpent. Like many such areas it is unprotected from the loggers.
The rainforest is being felled to be turned into paper pulp for export to Japan. So we're on the logging roads with tripods, various lock on devices and most importantly our bodies. We don't even have to monkeywrench! The timber industry is going down the gurglur and there is a dog eat dog climate in local towns, desperate workers sabotaging their own machines - for insurance money - and others' machines, to limit competition. Even the police acknowledge that loggers are monkeywrenching each other. The standard joke is that your machines are never so safe as when a load of greenies are crawling all over them!
The reason for the loggers' crisis is that the Japanese company Daishowa has made large inroads into Australia, changing logging from a timber industry to a pulp industry. It only takes seven seconds to turn a tree into chips for paper production. This combined with 'corporate rationalisation' has resulted in jobs decreasing by 40%. Unfortunately the loggers still publicly line up behind the corporations, who if they succeed in clearcutting this forest will leave for another. The workers will be left crying into their beer about how stupid they were, not to listen to activists ranting about sustainable forestry.
Do you want a holiday in a rainforest down under? Lend a hand and be a part of the growing eco- tourism industry!.
Melbourne Friends of the
Goongerah Vic 3888
Tel: +61 (0)3 9419 8700
Fax: +61 (0)3 9414 2081