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Helicopter Logging Protestors Go To Court

Two anti-native logging activists arrested for locking themselves to a log-lifting helicopter on the West Coast in February 1999 will appear in the Auckland District Court this Tuesday the 21st of March (courtroom four at 9.45am).

Native Forest Action activists Bridget Gibb and Stephen Abel will be represented by Peter Williams QC.

Despite the change of Government since their protest a year ago against Government logger Timberlands, the most destructive over-cut logging still continues in the beautiful Orikaka forest as well as several other native forests on the West Coast. Ms Gibb and Mr Abel stand by their actions to halt the operation of a helicopter used to lift ancient rimu logs out of the spectacular lowland rainforests of the South Island’s West Coast.

The following statement was taken from a submission to be made to the court by Ms Gibb in Auckland – “Our forests are being systematically destroyed every day. In the time between our action and our appearance in court several more ancient forests have fallen to chainsaws. I am not willing to stand aside as this earth that gives us our very existence is trashed for human greed.”

Mr Abel’s statement includes the following – “Our generation is witness and privy to a kind of genocide of the natural world. Forests are the lungs of the Earth. We continue to degrade and destroy these life support systems at our own peril. Not only is great beauty lost but the Earths actual ability to sustain life is threatened.”

The pair, with no previous convictions, face a maximum sentence of two years in jail and various reparation charges claimed by the Government logging company.

Supporters and well wishers will gather outside the court at 9am.

For more information contact Steve Abel in Auckland on (09) 846 7077 or 025 425 051. or contact Dean Baigent-Mercer in Wellington on (04) 383 5168.


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