So there is not a lot of outrage in Australia, so the protest against the timber industry in Tasmania moves to San Fransciso and the rest of the world…
Yesterday Paul West from the Rainforest Action Network put out the following media release. Before or after you read this nasty work of propaganda, you may want to find out some facts and figures on the Tasmanian forestry industry, click here, here and here.
The media release is titled ‘Global outcry over falling forests and failing democracy on Australia’s island state of Tasmania’ and begins:
“Outraged world citizens today protested at Australian embassies and consulates in America, Canada, Japan and the United Kingdom to decry the destruction of old-growth forests and the undermining of democracy in the country’s island state of Tasmania by Forestry Tasmania and Gunns, Ltd., a rogue billion-dollar logging giant whose practices rank among the world’s worst according to recent reports.
The IUCN compares Gunns’ operations to rampant illegal logging in the Third World.
Demonstrators delivered a letter signed by leading international sustainability groups to Prime Minister John Howard demanding that the government act in accordance with scientific recommendations to protect Tasmania’s virgin forests from a well-documented arsenal of logging tactics deployed by Gunns and industry-controlled Forestry Tasmania. In the wake of massive clearcuts by Gunns, the industry routinely scorches the Earth with Napalm firebombs to eradicate all remaining life.
Gunns has also killed hundreds of thousands of native mammals using carrots poisoned with Compound 1080, a lethal super-toxin listed as a biological weapon by both the Canadian and US governments. Gunns CEO John Gay has publicly stated that it is okay that his company kills endangered animals because “there’s too many of them.” Tasmania’s forests are currently being clear-cut at an unprecedented rate equivalent to approximately 44 football fields per day. The vast majority of Tasmania’s priceless ancient trees are being processed into woodchips by Gunns to make disposable paper products destined for landfills in America and Asia.
The worldwide call for action today echoed a dozen of Australia’s leading scientists who signed a 2004 statement of support for the protection of Tasmania’s forests calling for the “urgent need for Australian government intervention.” The effort to protect Tasmania’s forests is one of the largest environmental issues in Australian history, and according to a 2004 opinion poll by Newspoll, over 85 percent of Australian citizens favor full protection for Tasmania’s pristine forests.
Carrying signs reading “Stop Gunns” and “Save Tassie’s Trees,” forest defenders around the world protested with “GUNNS” taped over the mouths in solidarity with 20 silenced citizens in Australia who are currently being sued by Gunns for speaking out against the company’s attacks on environmental treasures and public health. Likened to McDonald’s “McLibel” lawsuit, websites like Gunns20.org and McGunns.com are evidence of a growing global grassroots movement to protect free speech, reassert democracy and save old-growth forests. The Gunns 20 lawsuit has also been condemned by leading human rights lawyers in the UK. For the Tasmania Forest Campaign, Rainforest Action Network and its allies today launched TreesNotGunns.org to organize future worldwide action.
At the Australian High Commission in London today, British MP and Deputy Environmental Minister Norman Baker met with the Deputy High Commissioner to deliver the NGO letter and spoke about the atrocities he witnessed on his visit to Tasmania last month. Over 100 members of the British Parliament recently signed a motion condemning Gunns’ actions and calling for an international boycott of woodchips and paper sourced from Tasmania’s old-growth forests.
… Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network, the worldwide day of protest expands one of the largest environmental protection campaigns in Australian history to global economic centers including Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Vancouver and Washington, D.C. The letter to Prime Minister Howard was signed by coalition of US and European-based groups including Forest Ethics (ForestEthics.org), Friends of the Earth International (FOE.org), Global Exchange (GlobalExchange.org), Global Response (GlobalResponse.org), International Forum on Globalization (IFG.org), Native Forest Network (NativeForest.org), Pacific Environment (PacificEnvironment.org), Rainforest Action Network (RAN.org), Ruckus Society (Ruckus.org) and the Sierra Club (SierraClub.org).”