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Pop / Rock 27/07/2001

Bonnie Raitt, John Densmore Arrested At RAN Protest

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Chicago, (AP) Bonnie Raitt and former Doors drummer John Densmore were among 20-odd protesters arrested and charged with disorderly conduct following a peaceful demonstration at a Chicago-area office products company on Wednesday (July 25).

The musicians were handcuffed, but detained only briefly, and will likely just face a small fine. No court date was set in the action, pending a review of the charges by a prosecutor. Raitt is an active member of the Rainforest Action Network, the organization that staged the protest, and has been arrested at least once before on their behalf. Densmore sits on the organization's advisory board, according to a RAN spokesperson.

The event began with a speech from Raitt and other high-profile activists at a press conference in a Chicago hotel to outline (what RAN refers to as) Boise's anti-environmentalist agenda. They then moved to the Boise Cascade Office Products headquarters in Itasca, Ill., where the arrests took place.

"As an American citizen, I'm here to support our fundamental right to free speech -- to peaceably encourage a healthy debate of all sides of the issues," said Raitt at the press conference. "The smear tactics of [companies like Boise] attributing dangerous and illegal activities to responsible, environmental public advocacy groups clearly opposed to such tactics, I find both reprehensible and undemocratic." RAN is accusing Boise of covert attempts to harass the organization by orchestrating tax investigations, among other techniques. Boise is also being accused of harassing a schoolteacher for instructing her class to write letters protesting a proposed Boise Cascade plant in Chile. The schoolteacher was also arrested.
The company has denied involvement in both issues. Pictured above in a photo by Dan Miles is Raitt at the Boise Cascade Office Products headquarters in Itasca, Ill.

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