Don’t credit Gallegos with Humboldt violence
Today’s Times-Standard eviscerates District Attorney Paul Gallegos over the failed fraud suit against Maxxam-controlled Pacific Lumber. But the paper lays too much at the DA’s feet:
[W]e have to ask whether the suit was worth the cost, both monetarily and in the social repercussions that split this community so violently down the middle.
Such statements remind readers that T-S editor Rich Somerville was not in Humboldt County prior to the fraud suit. While wars of words punctuated Maxxam’s failed attempt to recall Gallegos, physical altercations between pro and anti-Maxxam factions existed long before. The situation climaxed with the 1990 bombing of activist Judi Bari, and there were aftershocks of pepper spray.
What the recall did do was demonstrate that Maxxam is unloved by a majority of Humboldt County residents. It showed most of us are not a bunch of mindless lemmings whose votes can be controlled by a corporate raider’s money clip. At least, not anymore.
And lest we go forth with wrong-headed notions that violence among Humboldt’s split community was begotten by Gallegos or Maxxam, don’t forget the incredible violence directed at back-to-the-landers in the early 1970’s. Pratt Mountain resident Dirk Dickenson was shot in the back and then set-up by crooked cops bent on demonizing the newcomers.
Unlike the T-S, the Humboldt Herald is disinclined to declare the fraud suit saga “over.” In response to the recent appellate ruling, other action prepares itself behind the starting gate.