Blues singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt and former Doors drummer John Densmore were among the activists arrested yesterday (July 25) after a public protest in Itasca, Illionis, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Raitt and Densmore joined with other members of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) to demonstrate against the forest products company Boise Cascade Corporation, which RAN claims destroys ancient rainforests and tries to limit the free speech rights of its opponents.
According to the Chicago Tribune, after a short program of speeches, 12 protesters linked arms and sat down on the outskirts of Boise Cascade’s property. After a warning by police, the protesters were arrested for disorderly conduct and driven to a nearby police station. Eight additional protesters were later arrested; all 20 people spent about two hours in custody and will likely face fines.
RAN campaigns director Michael Brune described the events as “a classic example of non-violent civil disobedience. They’re mostly symbolic acts to draw attention to global problems. It was a well-executed and smooth event.”
Raitt, who has been arrested in several similar protests over the years, recently played live for inmates at California’s San Quentin Prison. The show was organized by the San Francisco organization Bread and Roses, started by late folksinger Mimi Farina to “create opportunities for performing artists to bring the joy of live entertainment to people shut away from society.”