Attack in the Walbran

January 24th, 1999 - “Saw video footage of the blockade that was violently attacked in the Walbran on November 25th, courtesy of Steve. [She watched all of this while Steve explained what was actually happening; commentary on the audio.] A lot more serious and high voltage confrontation than one would expect. -A very successful blockade. [Seven] people held off 20-25 loggers, both in the blockade and in the assault. The fight in the morning was in the darkness, at about 5:00 a.m. They attacked a 17-year-old girl chained inside a barrel (tipped it over while her arm was still [hand-cuffed], potential of breaking it). [Both her arms would have been hand-cuffed inside the cement filled barrel to a metal post through a polypropylene pipe, three barrels involved. Two individuals would be hand-cuffed in this manner, and one of them was Steve. They also attacked] the cameraman. They spray[ed] the camera with grease to make it inoperable. They also tried to throw people over the edge of the road, not a sheer cliff but a very hazardous drop, nonetheless. -A lot of yelling. Basically there was a very intense swear off with one woman taking on all the loggers at once, while the physical assaults were taking place. [Then there was “official” daytime footage of the blockade where they met with the same bunch; Steve was pointing out perpetrators. T]hey were talking them down about the legal aspects of the situation and SMZ (Special Management Zone, which the Walbran was designated) mismanagement. They knew way more than the loggers did. This talk went on for a long time, about an hour of recording, but the sound was shot. The cement barrel hook-up blockade formation was ingenious. There was [practically] no way of getting around it short of sawing their arms off. This confrontation took place on the logging road just aft of our camp. I was pleased with the effectiveness of the blockade. It means so little in the press.”