I was among a group of activists who interrupted notorious climate change denier Patrick Moore at the Feb. 20 opening session of the Oregon Logging Conference (OLC). Each of us planned to raise a sign saying “false” every time Moore distorted facts on environmental topics, then peacefully exit the building.
The peaceful exit didn’t work out.
As soon as signs went up, Moore paused and responded, “Can we have them removed by force?” and then answered his own question by saying, “Remove them by force!” The crowd stirred, angrily. Some of us were mauled and dragged to the door.
The mob violence, minor but undeniable, was bad enough, but then the entire event bore little resemblance to a professional convention.
Speakers, including a GOP state representative, warned that cap and trade and endangered species protection threatened rural families’ way of life. Some angrily demonized effete urban democrats and unpatriotic, lazy activists.
A Timber Unity music video blared an angry Toby Keith song about 9/11, blurring the line between violent foreign terrorists and despised liberal environmentalists.
By the time Moore came on, partisan anger and fear were the order of the day. And his deceitful harangue had little to do with logging.
This was pure partisan political rabble-rousing, not a trade show or professional convention.
The OLC Foundation files IRS forms as a tax-exempt nonprofit, which are banned from partisan political activity. The Lane County Events Center should consider this when the OLC comes knocking next year.