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Direct Action at Burmese Teak Importer!!
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- Subject: Direct Action at Burmese Teak Importer!!
- From: EarthCulture <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 22:03:36 -0400 (EDT)
EarthCulture Update: July 1, 1997
* If you have a publication & would like to reprint this- feel free! Please
send us a copy. Photos are available. *
Activists Swarm Major Burmese Teak Importer!
On July 1, about twenty environmental and human rights activists from all
over North Carolina descended upon one of the US' leading importers of
Burmese teak. One activist chained himself to the large Dean Hardwoods,
others blocked the entrance and gathered in front of Dean's headquarters
holding banners reading, "Dean's Making a Killing with Burmese Teak," and
"Stop the Tropical Chop!"
"I am not leaving until Dean Hardwoods stops stealing teak from the Burmese
people," said EarthCulture's Rick Spencer, who chained himself to the sign.
"Commercial rainforest logging is destroying the planet's most important
ecosystems, and the cutting of woods like teak, mahogany, and lauan are
even costing people's lives."
Burma is the source of the majority of internationally traded teak. A
military coup in Burma in 1962 began a reign of terror and oppression that
continues today. In 1988, the SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration
Council) gunned down thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators in a massive
protest. Continued protests brought about general elections. Though the
SLORC only received 2% of the vote, they refused to yield power. The SLORC
generals use forced labor, rape, torture, forced relocation and
intimidation to control the people of Burma. Cases of forced labor have
been documented by the SLORC in logging operations.
Burma is home to the world's last primary teak forests and some of the last
ancient rainforests remaining in mainland Asia, but are now being
liquidated to fund the SLORC's rule. These forests are home to rare species
such as the Asian Rhino, Asian Elephant and others. In the US, teak is used
for indoor and outdoor furniture, interior trim, boat trim & decking and
small consumer items like spice racks, salad bowls and napkin holders.
Dean eventually agreed to meet with members of EarthCulture and the North
Carolina Free Burma Coalition, but no compromise was met. No arrests
occurred. We got coverage from all of Wilmington's TV stations, which
carried throughout their affiliates statewide, at least one newspaper, and
a few radio stations.
EarthCulture, along with a handful of other US environmental and human
rights groups, has revamped a boycott on all unsustainable rainforest woods
and the teak boycott in particular has gained the support of Burma's
rightful leader. This action kicks off Rainforest Relief's international
Teak Week of Action which will see similar protests in the US, Thailand,
For more imformation about this event, the rainforest woods boycott, or
Burma, please contact us. We are always looking for people to hold
demonstrations or informational tables in their area!
PO Box 4674
Greensboro, NC 27404
Phone & Fax: 910-854-2957
*** CHECK OUT our new webpage!
STOP THE TROPICAL CHOP! Use sustainable or recycled wood products-
or simply reduce your wood consumption.
Rainforests are the home to 50% of the world's species & 50,000 indigenous
peoples. By boycotting rainforest woods- like mahogany, teak, lauan, &
you can help save our most important ecosystems!
We need action in your area!!
Contact us for our FREE Rainforest Woods/ Wood Reduction Action Pack!