It Does Grow On Trees!

Last Thursday, about 25 protesters declared the day "Umpqua Bank Withdrawal Day" and gathered around a branch along NE Weidler. Like an embargo on a rogue nation, the environmentalists hoped to inflict enough financial damage to persuade the bank's Board Chairman to reconsider cutting down 1500 acres of old growth trees.

As well as sitting as Umpqua Bank's chairman, Allyn Ford is also President of Roseburg Forest Products. Environmentalists cheered when coast range timber sales, from the federal government to private companies, were halted in order to protect pint-sized marbled murrelets along the Oregon seashore. But in 1995, the U.S. Congress compensated private companies like Ford's Roseburg Forest Products for lost logging contracts by giving them "replacement" acres inland.

Environmentalists claims such "replacement volume" is akin to a shell game where environmental victories turn up as devastating defeats elsewhere.

Organizers for Thursday's event estimate they convinced patrons to withdrawal as much as $200,000 from Umpqua accounts. IAN THOMPSON

Protesting Protesters

Five weeks after terrorist attacks seemed to solidify America's resolve to be kinder and gentler to each other, visible signs of erratic hatred were apparent last Monday evening outside the Schnitzer Concert Hall. About 200 people gathered near the auditorium to protest the appearance of former Prime Minister of Israel, Ehud Barak. Believing that Israel--and Barak--have denied Palestinians their nation-state and basic rights as citizens, protesters voiced their disgust.

With so much global attention on Arab nations and their various power struggles, the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine has been under closer scrutiny since September 11.

But as people were shouting opposition to Israel's policies, a smaller group gathered to protest the protesters. They arrived to denounce U.S. foreign policies that mingle in Middle Eastern politics.

"My tax dollars kill my own people," one Arab American man yelled out, drawing immediate ire from the crowd. Several began to demand that police check his Visa. In turn, police responded that such matters were issues for the INS, not city police. PHIL BUSSE