A brief history...around 1985-86, Maxxam Corp., based in Houston, Texas, took over the Pacific Lumber Co., located in Humboldt County, California. Maxxam began logging at an accelerated rate, clearcutting and targeting the old growth redwood forests, home to 2,000-year-old trees and many endangered plant and animal species.
The people of Humboldt Co. began organizing a non-violent resistance to Maxxam/Pacific Lumber (PL), under the banner of "North Coast Earth First!" Property destruction was denounced, and people instead locked themselves to logging road gates, bulldozers, and each other, in efforts to slow the destruction and bring attention to the issue. Thousands of people were voluntarily arrested at mass line-crossing rallies, with celebrities and politicians among the ranks.
Several activists were pepper sprayed by local police officers, using q-tips to swab the harsh chemicals directly onto the eyeballs of the demonstrators, while others were sprayed within inches of their faces while locked down. Earth First! activists sued the Humboldt County Sheriff's Dept., and, after many years of struggle, won a verdict forbidding the local police from using pepper spray as a "pain compliance" tool.
There are many stories within this larger story, tales of violence, corruption, even torture, as well as dedication, sacrifice, and the spirit of resistance alive in the people involved. This is why NCEF! Media still exists, to tell the story of what happened behind the "redwood curtain," and to continue the tradition of non-violent civil disobedience. While the Maxxam/PL battle may be over, there are still countless issues to be addressed, and a lot of room for improvement in the world we all share.
Please take some time to watch some videos, read some articles, join the e-mail list, and hopefully get inspired to action! This website is a work in progress, so stay tuned for more content, soon to come! Earth First!