Police start evacuating environmental activists from tree blockade

Police started removing environmental activists holding a blockade in the Modrava region of Šumava National Park to prevent the felling of bark-beetle infested trees from the area on Tuesday afternoon. A police spokeswoman said that at least two activists, who had chained themselves to trees in an effort to prevent them from being felled, had been evacuated from the site, to where some 40 police officers have been deployed. According to the organizer of the blockade, Mojmír Vlašín, police brutality has been escalating. He says that one officer attacked a protester, choked and threatened him. He added that the blockade has not been successful because the activists are outnumbered by the police. On Tuesday, a court order was issued to remove three members of the vigil organizer, the Czech branch of Friends of the Earth, from the site.

The park’s management is determined to push ahead with logging activity arguing that another 30,000 trees in the vicinity are in imminent danger of infestation. A meeting between activists and the park’s director on Monday night failed to produce any result.