Activists from the Dziki Ruch Oporu group were blocking logging in the Borecka Forest when a group of masked men appeared in the forest. The video shows how several of them tried to take down one of the protesters from the tree. After a while, they fled in cars with no license plates.
One of the activists of the informal group Dziki Ruch Oporu, which blocked logging in the Borecka Forest on Monday, explained on TVN24 why the group decided on this form of protest. – We wanted to draw attention to the catastrophic consequences of cutting down valuable forests in the current climate situation. If we sent a letter to the ministry or stood in Warsaw with banners, no one would care. So we decided on this form of protest – he said.
He added that the activists arrived at the site at night, as logging usually starts early in the morning. “We set up tents. One of the people was attached to a tree, the other to heavy equipment – he reported. According to the activist’s account, the protest was stopped after a group of about 20 masked men appeared in the forest. “It was probably to scare us.” Some of them were pulling on the ropes and wanted one of us to come down from the tree he had tied himself to. When we started shouting that a friend could fall and die, they gave up and ran to the cars they had come in. There were no registration numbers on them, he said.
The activist also stated that some of the masked people left in a harvester, i.e. a logging harvester used for felling, and a forwarder – a tractor used to load wood. “Apparently they had the keys to this equipment. A friend who was previously attached to these machines just at that time unhooked and went on patrol elsewhere, so they could easily take the equipment – said an anonymous activist.
The men left with heavy equipment? “There Is No Proof”
The spokesman for the Regional Directorate of State Forests in Białystok, Jarosław Krawczyk, stated in an interview with TVN24 that the area where the activists protested is not covered by “any form of nature protection”, and the cuttings themselves are “in the nature of economic works”. – They are carried out on our behalf by the forest services company, i.e. a private company. They had been there before, but they were to be continued on Monday – he explained. As he added, guards and policemen appeared on the spot and checked the activists’ ID cards.
As we read further, the incident was recorded and the video was published on the profile of the Wild Resistance Movement. However, the moment when the masked men were to leave with heavy equipment is not visible. So there’s no proof that it actually happened. A forester who came to the site the next morning found that the equipment was not there, the spokesman said. He added that currently the equipment is used in other forestry, but soon “wood harvesting in this place will continue.”
– We left the area on Monday around 10 pm. We are considering whether to report the matter to the police. It looks like we won’t be doing that. We do not want to put ourselves in danger from these masked men – the activist told TVN24. In turn, Iwona Chruścińska said that so far no one has filed a notification, so the police cannot deal with the case.