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Environmentalists Protest Gore

July 10, 2000

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Environmental demonstrators chained themselves together in front of the entrance to Al Gore’s campaign office here Monday and hung protest banners on the building.

Gore promotes himself as a friend of the environment and is author of ``Earth in the Balance.″ But the protesters said they saw little difference between him and his Republican presidential rival, Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

About 100 members of the group Earth First! danced and chanted in the foyer of the campaign offices _ 160 miles east of Gore’s national headquarters in Nashville _ with some climbing up to hang banners reading ``Presidency for Sale″ and ``End Corporate Governance.″

Four protesters chained themselves together and sat in front of the office doors. Knoxville police persuaded the other demonstrators to go outside while they spoke with the chained protesters, who eventually left and avoided arrest.

Gore’s campaign staff remained inside. Among them was Wade Till, chairman of the Knox County Democratic Party, who said, ``They ought to be dumping on Bush because he is the guy who is in the hands of the oil companies and the ones who really hurt the environment.″

Earth First! leader Daniel Patterson said Gore has refused to endorse the end of logging on public land, and his family owns 500,000 shares of Occidental Petroleum, which the group says threatens the environment with drilling in South America.

``Things don’t match up,″ Patterson said. ``We are here to say that Gore cannot take the environmental vote for granted.″

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