Take Back Your Holidays!

The "Have a Heart" campaign is the first effort in a "Take Back Your Holidays" campaign to counter the commercialization of holidays. We will post further information about how to "Take Back Your Holidays" at this site. Next Holiday: Easter!

Plight of the Redwoods Tour and
"Have A Heart- Save The Redwoods" Valentine's Day Campaign

Out of the "Plight of the Redwoods Tour" of the east coast, with Redwood Mary and Julia Butterfly, came a lovely idea to send Valentines, made out of recycled paper advertisements, to corporations who are damaging the environment and to politicians are in a position to improve public policy on these issues.

The idea is simple. Take a piece of junk mail or scrap paper or discarded office paper and cut out 3 hearts--one for each of the people listed below (at the bottom of this message). On the blank area of the paper that is not yet used--write "Have a Heart--Save The Redwoods". Then make an envelope out of scrap paper that you would otherwise throw away (a paper bag, copy paper packaging, etc.) or reuse an old envelope and send the Valentine to those listed below--and to any others you can think of.


Report on the "Plight of the Redwoods" Tour

Northern California forest defender "Redwood Mary" just returned from the East Coast after taking the "Plight Of The Redwoods" on a 20 day, 10 city tour in partnership with Julia Butterfly Hill (via cell phone to Julia in the redwood tree she is occupying). The fight to save the last of the temperate redwood rain forest in Northern California has drawn these two activists together. Julia Butterfly and Redwood Mary collaborated together on the Tour to present an overview of a Redwood Forest In Crisis-- a mosaic of the geography, the ecology, the issues--a briefing on the litigation, legislation and direct action-- as well as their own personal stories discussing what spurred each of them to get involved in saving these endangered ecosystems.

"Redwood Mary" ( a.k.a Mary Rose Kaczorowski) chronicles this recent Tour in an article for the Mendocino Country Environmentalist":

"Highlights of the tour included New York City's WBAI 's Radio show "Walden Pond", a cable TV studio taping with West Harlem Youth environmental inner city groups, 100+ community dinner event hosted by Earth Save in Westchester County and an appearance at New York City's famed Wetlands Preserve Activist Nightclub.

"We also paralleled the battle to save "Headwaters Forest" and "Save The Redwoods/Boycott The Gap Campaign"--- and how Charles Hurwitz's Maxxam Corporation (owners of Pacific Lumber Company) and the Fisher Family of the Gap Empire (owners of Mendocino Redwood Company) now have a significant role in the impact on these dwindling forests. Forest destruction in both counties has affected local communities, the ecology, and the extinction of salmon .

"What I brought with me on tour were powerful visuals (video clips) and stories that put the big picture together for what was going on here behind "the redwood" curtain. The presentation was also based on personal interactive contact--grassroots to grassroots... we were just not a sound bite or something you read about in the newspaper. We were there live and in real time sharing on a level that can't be had through other media. The presentation was fast moving and covered a lot of material and included video of the press conference given by activists who were with David " Gypsy" Chain when he died." (Note: David Chain lost his life defending a redwood forest last year, when a tree was felled on him by angry loggers.)

"I think I can speak for both Julia and myself in that "what was important to us" on this tour was to get across the idea that we are two examples of individuals who decided to take action in working with other activists in taking a stand for the protection of life.

"Julia Butterfly eloquently touched the hearts of the audience, as she always does. Her plea includes 'Please, humans, kind wake up and realize the very real consequences of your each and every action. In today's society it is not that 'can we make a difference'...we do make a difference and therefore it is up to each and every one of us to decide what kind of difference that is going to be.' Julia Butterfly and I collaborated on integrating a series of consumer actions and solutions with the audience that included steps that any person could take from writing letters on behalf of saving these ecosystems, to re-using every scrap of paper, to re-using tossed away paper at colleges and universities instead of notebooks.

"The presentations ran about 2 1/2 hours and people stayed for up to an hour to two hours afterwards. I was quite moved by the interest and concern. There was no heat in some of the places we did this presentation and people sat in their coats the whole time. At one of our presentations in North Carolina-- I had met "Cynthia"..one of the first "Luna" tree sitters-- a friend of Gypsy's who returned to her home state 'to work on making a difference' in her own community. Many people came to these presentations who ordinarily are not involved in environmental issues and made a point of sharing with me how moved they were by the entire presentation.

"One of my favorite points that I like to make is that it is not an exaggeration to say 'that the politics of consumption' has driven entire ecosystems to the brink of collapse. The worst of our environmental destruction has been the result of our vain persistence to ignore our inter-connectedness with nature. These wondrous life systems keep giving and giving but there is a point where ecosystems break down. We are now losing keystone species and habitats.

"I have gathered from my interactions with many activists that this realization of our interconnectedness with nature is something that has motivated many citizens to become active in saving the last of our Redwood Forest Ecosystems--including myself and Julia Butterfly.

"The good news is that there are ways that we can create a shift... a positive shift using economic tools. The emphasis is on coming from a heart place rather than anger or apathy.

"In New York City Julia and I recently kicked off 'Have A Heart... Save The Redwoods Campaign'. Here is an outline of the 'Have A Heart" Campaign (with input from Julia Butterfly).

Have A Heart Save The Redwoods
Taking Back Our Dollars- Taking Back Our Holidays

Our "Plight of The Redwoods" is a crisis reflected in our economic systems that have lost respect for the value of life and communities. We as humans are guided by our value systems. We have based our value systems on the 'dollar ' and place that value on dollars of exploitation , extraction, and destruction of our environment. It is time to take our dollars back and place their value on the protection of the earth instead of its destruction.

We, as consumers, give our dollars to corporations. The dollars that we give these corporations in exchange for their goods are being used to invest in the destruction of our old growth forests ecosystems: such as the Fisher Family, owners of the Gap clothing empire and Mendocino Redwood Company, who are now clear cutting and spraying herbicides in Mendocino County, California--and Home Depot that is the largest retailer of redwood lumber in the nation.

In the case of Charles Hurwitz's Maxxam Corp. our old growth redwood forests in Humboldt County California are being liquidated to pay off interest on junk bonds that he used to pay for a hostile takeover of Pacific Lumber Company.

We, as consumers, have a choice! We can take our dollars back. We can then approach these corporations and inform them that we do not want our money to be used in destroying life...and we will not spend our dollars at these stores until these corporations begin to value life and reflect that in their polices and actions.

We are asking the public the world over to not only take back "our dollars" but also to take back "our holidays". Holidays are now co-opted by the marketing of consumer goods rather than the true cultural spirit of holidays. The first holiday we are reclaiming is "Valentines Day". Valentines Day is about an expression of love towards those whom we care for and cherish. We are asking all of you to let these corporations know that the desire to protect these threatened ecosystems and all the life that they harbor comes from a heart place.

Here is our simple idea once again: Take a piece of junk mail or scrap paper or discarded office paper and cut out 3 hearts--one for each of the people listed below. On a blank area of the paper, write "Have a Heart- Save The Redwoods". Then make an envelope out of scrap paper that you would other wise throw away (a paper bag, copy paper packaging, etc.) or reuse an old envelope, and send it to those listed below, who need to hear about our love for these forests--and to others you may think of:

John Fisher
Mendocino Redwood Company
One Maritime Plaza 14th Floor
San Francisco CA 94111

Charles Hurwitz
Maxxam Corp.
5847 San Felipe Suite 2600
Houston TX 77257

Also Send one to California's newly elected governor Gray Davis and write on your heart to him a BIG REMINDER "to follow thru" on his promise to permanently protect old growth forests in California"!

Governor Gray Davis
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Pass the word! Have a "Heart making" party! Enlist your family, friends, associates, school groups to Join in our heartfelt plea to save these endangered forests and the life that they harbor.

For further information on The Gap/Fisher Family connection to the further destruction of the redwood ecosystem in Mendocino County, go to: http://www.elksoft.com/gwa

To learn more about Julia Butterfly Hill and her courageous non-violent occupation of a the ancient Redwood Tree Luna, go to: http://www.lunatree.org

For INFORMATION AND updates on Maxxam/Pacific Lumber and Headwaters forest GO TO: Environmental Protection Information Center, go to: http://www.igc.org/epic/pages/latest_update.html

Redwood Mary: redwood@mcn.org

Mendocino Country Environmentalist
"Indespensible Information For Environmental Activists" published 20 times a year
mcenviro@pacific.net

Redwood Mary (a.k.a Mary Rose)
P.O. Box 2856
Ft. Bragg CA 95437

"Remaining silent about the destruction of nature is an endorsement of that destruction."


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