The biggest blockade in the Forest


The last blockade (30.08.) was the biggest one in the history of the protests. About 60 activists took part – from the Camp for the Forest, Greenpeace, Dzika Polska. Polish activists were supported by people from Slovakia, Slovenia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Finland, Turkey and Hungary. Apart from blocking the machines directly, 12 people climbed the trees and created a kind of a net, connecting themselves to machines from high up. Movements of the machines could make the climbers fall down. Thus, the blockade was more difficult to break.

The protesters wanted to save old-growth forest from Bialowieza Forest District from being cut down by harvesters. They also emphasized the fact that the logging in this very district had been banned by the European Court of Justice and demanded that this world heritage should be saved not sold. They also protested against removing the logs from the Forest. What is more, they wanted a public safety commission that would include various experts to be established. Finally, they opted for breaking the potentially dangerous trees in old-growth forest stands in a way that would imitate impact of natural forces and for leaving the fallen trees to decay.

Forest guards from all over the Forest were directed to the place of the blockade. A whole ‘army’ of them appeared at the site. Their behaviour, once again, was aggresive, disrespectful and posed threat to activists’ safety and health. In fact, 3 activists were even taken hospital in Hajnówka, having suffered some injuries from the guards.

At the same time, a big success, all remaining harvesters, working in different places of the Forest, stopped their work and left the clearings.

Activists remained at the site for the night. The temperture is quite low but they want to keep their eye on the logs, so that they remain in the Forest and are not illegally removed.

P.S. Any logging in Bialowieza Forest District had been banned by the EC and breaks nature conservation regulations. Moreover, the shockingly increased forest management plan has already been fulfilled there. Still, the logging goes on.