18 December

A week before Christmas, on 18 December 1999, Julia 'Butterfly' Hill climbed down from a thousand-year-old redwood tree that she had made her home for the previous 738 days to protect it from loggers.

December 18, 2009 · 1 min read

Julia, who had never done anything like this before, was one of hundreds of nonviolent activists who had come together to try to save the remnants of the ancient redwood forest on the US west coast. By moving into an area of logging activity they hoped to persuade the loggers to spare the forest – and, when that failed, to make it impossible for them to cut down trees without killing the protesters who were occupying them.

Sometimes this didn’t stop the loggers. On September 17 1998, Julia’s fellow protester David ‘Gypsy’ Chain was killed when the timber company cut down the tree he was in at the time.

Julia’s two-year occupation of the tree she named ‘Luna’ had a happier outcome. The Pacific Lumber/Maxxam Corporation agreed to spare Luna and establish a three-acre buffer zone around it.



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