RAN Exposes Weyerhaeuser to Shareholders

Written by Cameron

Topics: Agribusiness

share this story
facebook twitter email stumble upon
Get Forest Alerts

Update: better quality video of the event is here.

Update: pictures from the event are here.

This morning, RAN activists gave Weyerhaeuser shareholders an idea of what the company is really about (not the greenwashing lies it posts on its website). About 20 of us descended on the company’s annual shareholder meeting with a 20-foot banner equating the “American Dream” (of big, new homes) with a “Native Nightmare” of flattened forests and eviscerated ecosystems. Three activists locked themselves to the HQ’s front entrance and declared that they wouldn’t leave until Weyerhaeuser got out of Grassy Narrows. Weyerhaeuser had a regular SWAT team of police officers at the ready, and the activists were removed…but not before they ruffled some shareholder feathers by letting them know where–and how–the company gets their quarterly dividends.

(Quick review for those of you not familiar with our battle with Weyerhaeuser: The Grassy Narrows community has been demanding that clear-cut logging stop on their land since 2000, and the Canadian constitution protects their right to preserve their territory for traditional activities such as hunting, which is hard to do when the ecosystem is dead.)

Grassy Narrows also had allies inside the meeting. A handful of RAN sympathizers used the normally polite Q&A period to make Weyerhaeuser execs explain their actions in Grassy Narrows to investors. One woman announced that she had bought Weyerhaeuser stock to support sustainable forestry, but learning about devastation and human rights abuses across the border made her furious. OK, alright: the woman was a plant, but she did call us last night fuming about the blatant lies on Weyerhaeuser’s website.

It was a powerful experience for the activists, and one I’m pretty sure the execs (and security team) won’t forget. One activists is telling me now that I should say a lot of love was felt in the action–and it’s true, it’s love for the planet and for our friends in Grassy Narrows that makes us keep going head to head with a company that is unabashed about its abusive, smarmy business practices.

7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. John says:

    So this is what a place where people work looks like?

    Hope you didn’t spend the dole money that should’ve gone to feeding your kids on travel to Federal Way.

  2. Luke says:

    John: I’m glad that Weyerhaeuser employees like yourself have found time in your busy schedules to visit our blog. While you’re at it, please take a moment to educate yourself on what your company is actually doing in Grassy Narrows.

  3. John Jenkins says:

    Perhaps Luke it is you who should educate yourself. Any timber purchased from the Grassy Narrows is done legally – the issue is with Canadian government. Also, this is but a small part of Weyerhaeuser’s business – to overstate that a company’s dividend comes from a miniscule percentage of their business is simply an attempt to be inflammatory. To overlook the sustainable forestry practices this company holds to in nearly ALL of its own forestland simply means you are unwilling to be civil and reasonable in the conversation.
    In spite of the completely legal (until determined otherwise) operations in Grassy Narrows, could Weyerhaeuser make a choice to not participate. Yes. To slander a company that is an amazing corporate citizen in so many communities is not the way to make your point. In fact, you likely lessen the willingness to discuss the issue due to your tactics. It’s time you learned how to work cooperatively for solutions instead of recklessly slamming others.

  4. Cameron says:

    John, if Grassy Narrows is such a small part of Weyerhaeuser’s business–and yet it’s the entirety of the community’s land, livelihood and culture–why not get out? Your claim that Weyerhaeuser is a good corporate citizen elsewhere is morally weak at best, and from what we’ve seen of the company’s practice (not its rhetoric), simply not true.

  5. Luke says:

    Furthermore, John, your claim any responsibility lies with the Canadian government is the height of moral abdication. Even Boise knows better. Take some responsibility for your actions and stop helping to destroy First Nations lands. In the eyes of colonial governments, driving Native Americans from their homes and taking their land was perfectly legal as well. I suppose you think that made it right.

  6. Brant says:

    John, we’re all about healthy debate. For a more complete discussion of these issues check out my op-ed from today’s P-I.

  7. Scott says:

    This conversation was interesting. I have to say that John, as an employee of Weyerhaeuser, is extremely biased and as many company men do operates with the typical arrogance. In his statment that it is legal until made illegal is admission of Weyehaeuser’s questionable forestry manaagement practices.

Leave a Comment Here's Your Chance to Be Heard!

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.