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.