Four arrested during Earth First! protest in Portland

The Associated Press
7/8/02 10:36 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- About 60 protesters with the environmental activist group Earth First! forced the closure of an office building in downtown Portland on Monday.

Four of the protesters, all from Seattle, were arrested. Two of them -- Denell C. Fahy, 26, and Jennifer Barrett, 26, were charged with criminal trespassing and interfering with a police officer. Also, Michelle Mathers, 25, was charged with interfering with a police officer and Karl Johnson, 30, was charged with criminal trespassing.

Members of the group said their target was Umpqua Bank, on the 19th floor of the building at 200 Southwest Market Street.

They said the chairman of the board's bank, Alan Ford, is the owner of a forest products company that is financing old growth timber sales in Oregon.

But bank officials said they have never funded the company, Roseburg Forest Products, and have no influence over the activities of board members.

Activists have promised more protests in the weeks to come, as the summer timber harvest season sets in.

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