10th blockade – violent forest guards and the harvester’s engine on
Yesterday in the evening, after about 8 hours, 10th blockade came to end.
25 activists from Poland and the Czech Republic blocked the heavy machines in an old-growth forest stand near Bialowieza. The activisits managed to climb up the harvester and joined their arms by means of special tubes, creating something like a human chain. Despite their presence, the harvester’s engine wasn’t switched off, posing threat to their health or even lives. A lot of police and forest guards arrived at the site of the blockade. They warned the activists that if they wouldn’t quit, force would be used against them. And this is what indeed happened. The police and guards broke the blokade and started carrying out all the activits, one by one, holding their legs and hands, twisting their limbs, behaving in a very arrogant way. No media was allowed. The activists said they would leave if Krzysztof Schmidt, PhD. from Mammal Research Institute Polish Academy of Sciences in Bialowieza was admitted to the site to check the condition of the Forest in this place and make sure what the planned area of the logging was. However, the scientist was not allowed at the site.
Once the owner of the machine ensured that he would finish his work on that day, and when the forest guards promised the activists could leave the place, the protestors decided to finish the blockade.
Bialowieza Forest District, where the logging has been taking place, has been brought to the EU Court of Justice and called to stop logging. Also UNESCO has recently addressed Polish government asking to bring this destructive action to an end. Nevertheless, the devastation goes on and decisions and regulations are being violated.
Below you can find a short film showing violent intervention of the forest guards.