*NEWS*FXEROX,RICOH,CANON DESTROY TAZMANIA

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*NEWS*FXEROX,RICOH,CANON DESTROY TAZMANIA

 user 2006-03-20 at 11:11:00 am Views: 78
  • #14853

    Global Outcry Over Falling Forests, Failing Democracy on Australia’s Island State of Tasmania
    major recipients from products of its old-growth woodchips with US markets include Fuji-Xerox, Ricoh and Canon.
          
    SAN FRANCISCO, March 06 — Outraged world citizens today protested at
    Australian embassies and consulates in America, Canada, Japan and the
    United Kingdom to decry the destruction of old-growth forests and the
    undermining of democracy in the country’s island state of Tasmania by
    Forestry Tasmania and Gunns, Ltd., a rogue billion-dollar logging giant
    whose practices rank among the world’s worst according to recent
    reports. The IUCN compares Gunns’ operations to rampant illegal logging
    in the Third World.
           Demonstrators delivered a letter signed
    by leading international sustainability groups to Prime Minister John
    Howard demanding that the government act in accordance with scientific
    recommendations to protect Tasmania’s virgin forests from a
    well-documented arsenal of logging tactics deployed by Gunns and
    industry-controlled Forestry Tasmania. In the wake of massive clearcuts
    by Gunns, the industry routinely scorches the Earth with napalm
    firebombs to eradicate all remaining life.
           Gunns has also
    killed hundreds of thousands of native mammals using carrots poisoned
    with Compound 1080, a lethal super-toxin listed as a biological weapon
    by both the Canadian and US governments. Gunns CEO John Gay has
    publicly stated that it is okay that his company kills endangered
    animals because “there’s too many of them.” Tasmania’s forests are
    currently being clear-cut at an unprecedented rate equivalent to
    approximately 44 football fields per day. The vast majority of
    Tasmania’s priceless ancient trees are being processed into woodchips
    by Gunns to make disposable paper products destined for landfills in
    America and Asia.
           The worldwide call for action today echoed
    a dozen of Australia’s leading scientists who signed a 2004 statement
    of support for the protection of Tasmania’s forests calling for the
    “urgent need for Australian government intervention.” The effort to
    protect Tasmania’s forests is one of the largest environmental issues
    in Australian history, and according to a 2004 opinion poll by
    Newspoll, over 85 percent of Australian citizens favor full protection
    for Tasmania’s pristine forests.
           Carrying signs reading “Stop
    Gunns” and “Save Tassie’s Trees,” forest defenders around the world
    protested with “GUNNS” taped over the mouths(c) in solidarity with 20
    silenced citizens in Australia who are currently being sued by Gunns
    for speaking out against the company’s attacks on environmental
    treasures and public health. Likened to McDonald’s “McLibel” lawsuit,
    Web sites like Gunns20.org and McGunns.com are evidence of a growing
    global grassroots movement to protect free speech, reassert democracy
    and save old-growth forests. The Gunns 20 lawsuit has also been
    condemned by leading human rights lawyers in the UK. For the Tasmania
    Forest Campaign, Rainforest Action Network and its allies today
    launched TreesNotGunns.org http://www.treesnotgunns.org/ to organize future worldwide action.
          
    At the Australian High Commission in London today, British MP and
    Deputy Environmental Minister Norman Baker met with the Deputy High
    Commissioner to deliver the NGO letter and spoke about the atrocities
    he witnessed on his visit to Tasmania last month. Over 100 members of
    the British Parliament recently signed a motion condemning Gunns’
    actions and calling for an international boycott of woodchips and paper
    sourced from Tasmania’s old-growth forests.
           The global outcry
    comes just days before a March 9th hearing when lawyers will argue for
    the Gunns 20 case to be thrown out of court for a third time and two
    weeks before a March 18th Tasmanian election when an record Green vote
    may force the current government into a minority coalition or from
    office altogether.
           According to the US National Cancer Institute,
    Tasmania — marketed to tourists as “The Island of Rejuvenation” — has
    some of the highest overall cancer incidence rates in the world.
    According to a report by the University of Tasmania and the Tasmania
    Department of Health and Human Services, the age-standardized incidence
    of all cancers combined — excluding non-melanocytic skin cancers –
    increased 37.6 percent in Tasmania during the 23-year period from 1978
    to 2000. In a recent letter to the Tasmanian Times, local farmer Paul
    de Burgh-Day wrote, “I came to live in Tasmania with my family largely
    because I believed the ‘Clean and Green’ marketing image. We have been
    here long enough now to realize that this is, sadly, no more than
    illusion … I have no doubt that Tasmania and its people could thrive
    if it set about becoming what the slogan implies.”
      Spearheaded by
    San Francisco-based Rainforest Action Network, the worldwide day of
    protest expands one of the largest environmental protection campaigns
    in Australian history to global economic centers including Houston,
    London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Tokyo, Vancouver and
    Washington, D.C. The letter to Prime Minister Howard was signed by
    coalition of US and European-based groups including Forest Ethics
    (ForestEthics.org), Friends of the Earth International (FOE.org),
    Global Exchange (GlobalExchange.org), Global Response
    (GlobalResponse.org), International Forum on Globalization (IFG.org),
    Native Forest Network (NativeForest.org), Pacific Environment
    (PacificEnvironment.org), Rainforest Action Network (RAN.org), Ruckus
    Society (Ruckus.org) and the Sierra Club (SierraClub.org).
           GUNNS AND FORESTRY TASMANIA
     With
    annual revenue of over $700 million in 2005, Gunns is the largest
    logging company in Australia, where it holds a virtual monopoly in
    Tasmania. Gunns operations have resulted in convictions and fines for
    breaching the Forest Practices Code and causing major environmental
    damage to a Tasman Peninsula waterway. Out-of-control napalm burns
    started by Forestry Tasmania and Gunns have incinerated areas of
    national parks, World Heritage sites and private land, and are intense
    enough to create massive mushroom clouds typically associated only with
    atomic weapons. Under the legal protection of special exemptions from
    national and state laws granted by the government’s Regional Forest
    Agreement, Gunns has routinely ordered the destruction of pristine
    areas identified for permanent protection by the United Nations World
    Heritage Bureau. Under current Tasmanian law, the company is not
    required to file environmental impact statements.
        The revolving
    door between Gunns and the government includes former Tasmanian Premier
    Robin Gray who currently sits on the company’s board of directors.
    Gunns collusion with Forestry Tasmania has essentially eliminated
    citizen oversight and has led to a breakdown of democracy in the state.
    Despite being Tasmania’s largest landowner, less the 15 percent of the
    company’s record profits stay in Australia’s poorest state. Gunns
    largest customers are Japanese paper companies Nippon, Oji, and Daio
    and major recipients from products of its old-growth woodchips with US markets include Fuji-Xerox, Ricoh and Canon.
           COMPOUND 1080
          
    Compound 1080 (sodium monofluoroacetate), a super-toxin with no known
    antidote, was first developed by Nazi military chemists for biological
    warfare during World War II. The FBI and Air Force as well as the
    Canadian Security Intelligence Service have publicly listed Compound
    1080 as a chemical agent terrorists could use to poison water supplies.
    A new CIA report includes photographic evidence that Compound 1080 was
    recently recovered by coalition forces in Iraq. Because of its danger
    to humans, Compound 1080 has been banned in Brazil since 1982. One
    teaspoon of the tasteless, odorless white power is enough to kill 100
    people.

           SUPPORTING STATEMENTS
          
    “Gunns does not act alone,” said Ilyse Hogue, director of the Global
    Finance Campaign at Rainforest Action Network. “They are backed by
    investors and commercials banks both in their everyday operations and
    projects like the unpopular Bell Bay Pulp Mill proposal. As the
    trajectory of the global finance sector moves toward a sustainable and
    just economy, banks like ANZ that continue to fund rogue corporations
    like Gunns will find themselves forced to account for their decision to
    their customers.”
           “Gunns operations are more like chemical
    warfare than logging,” said Brant Olson, director of the Old Growth
    Campaign at Rainforest Action Network.
           “The world is
    witnessing a total breakdown of democracy in Tasmania resulting in the
    wholesale destruction of the island state’s priceless primordial
    forests. Despite tens of thousands of Australians taking to the street
    in protest and polls showing that a vast majority favor full
    protection, the government still continues to support and subsidize
    Gunns wholesale conversion of Tasmania’s life giving natural forests
    into deadly toxic tree farms.”
           “Everything about the
    situation on the ground in Tasmania defies belief for anyone who
    respects democracy and values the rule of law,” said David Lee, a
    campaigner with the Tasmanian Forest Campaign at Rainforest Action
    Network.
           “Tasmania’s world-class trees like the giant
    Eucalyptus — the tallest hardwoods in the world — are up there with
    the Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands and worth far more to
    humanity as forests than woodchips. Gunns is trashing a global treasure
    in Tasmania to make disposable paper products and turning paradise into
    a toxic Hell on Earth in the process.”
    ABOUT RAN: Rainforest Action
    Network campaigns for the forests, their inhabitants and the natural
    systems that sustain life by transforming the global marketplace
    through education, grassroots organizing and non-violent direct action.
    For more information on RAN, please visit RAN.org. For information on
    the Tasmania Forest Campaign, please visit http://www.TreesNotGunns.org