The Winter Arrest Factory

For three days, the campers tried to enjoy the deep-freezer of a Maine winter, surrounded by hemlocks laden with snow and hardwood trees bare as bones. Layered in long underwear and anything else we have invented to live like polar bears, they passed their time by watching for large black and red crested pileated woodpeckers flashing through the trees, or by taking long, warming cross country ski trips on the 18-inch snowpack in Mt. Blue State Park. On the fourth day at 5:00 A.M., the call rang out for someone’s tent: “Trucks!” The 15 campers crawled out of their warm mummy bags and trundled out to the road to link arms against the logging trucks. By the end of the day, 13 of them sat in jail; by the end of the winter, 35 people had been arrested. And that was in 1993. The protestors kicked off 1994 by closing the company’s headquarters for a day, tree-sitting in the president’s yard and occupying Maine’s Department of Conservation offices, which led to 12 or more arrests.