From WILL PARRISH
On April 2nd, the California Highway Patrol rolled into Willits with enough force to overrun roughly a third of United Nations member states. Roughly 25 CHP squad cars deployed underneath The Warbler’s pine tree south of town by 7am. A CHP SWAT team that “serves as a rapid deployment force and provides counter-assault team support,” as the Patrol’s web site puts it, ascended into the tree via a bucket loader with a roughly 150-foot crane. One member of the unit announced himself in the platform with a pair of guns slung around his torso, as another reportedly told The Warbler they were prepared to use “any means necessary” to remove her from the tree.
Amanda Senseman, after 65 days in the tree, her body weakened by five days of being on hunger strike, did not resist the SWAT officers’ efforts to remove her. They bundled her up into the bucket loader in such a way as to shield her from the roughly 20 people who were gathered across from her tree on short notice to witness and protest the extraction. Unbeknownst to the crowd, she was forced into a CHP cruiser; not until the cruiser sped away from Caltrans’ construction haul road, headed north on Highway 101, did any of The Warbler’s supporters realize she had been arrested.
Several people made a mad dash toward the squad car, if only as a frantic final way of demonstrating their allegiance to The Warbler and her Promethean efforts to protect Little Lake Valley. Sara Grusky of Save Little Lake Valley and I were arrested for being in Highway 101 as the extraction occurred. Minutes later, Caltrans’ “vegetation removal” sub-contractor, Atlas Tree Surgery of Santa Rosa, ripped through the trunk of her stately 110-foot tree More…