Case Update Archive
Articles About Judi
Info About the Case
Books, Tapes, CDs
Motion to Stop FBI
Destruction of Evidence
20 Years After Judi Bari was Bombed
Judi Bari Activist Grants Awarded
Judi Bari Ten Years On, March 2, 2007
Bari Activist Grant Announced (11.15.06)
Bari interviewed on Radio Curious (5.24.06)
Radio Judi Bari documentary now available (5.10.06)
Million Settlement Paid (5.13.05)
Smear Book Attacks Judi Bari (1.28.05)
7th Judi Bari Day (11.5.03)
Team Wins Top Lawyers Award (7.30.03)
Proclaims May 24 Judi Bari Day (5.21.03)
National Lawyers Guild Practitioner article by Rosenfeld and Cunningham (4.13.03)
Bari/Cherney Legal Team Wins Pepper Spray
text of Judge's Order Entering Verdict (PDF file)
Cherney Interview in Earth First! Journal
Juror Mary Nunn radio interviews
Juror Mary Nunn interview published online
Jurors speak out!
Jury's Message - Analysis of Verdict (revised
In Jury Verdict Form
online in Acrobat PDF format
Comingore's Letter to Editors (6/20/02)
Bari's Statement for Bari Family
Bari deposition transcript in Acrobat PDF format (posted
Bari deposition audio MP3 files (posted 5/22/02)
filing re COINTELPRO and FBI misconduct
Trial Opening Statement
Who in Bari vs. USA (plaintiffs, defendants, attorneys, witnesses)
Poem added to poetry page
More News and website additions
24, 2004 Judi Bari Day Rally and Press Conf. in Oakland
(5.21.04) now on the Archive Page
Seeks to Destroy Bomb Evidence
Motion to Preserve Bomb
Evidence, August-September 2010
In a brazen move, the FBI, which never honestly
investigated the evidence in the Judi Bari bombing, has given notice that they
intend to destroy the remaining evidence in the still unsolved attempted
murder. Surviving plaintiff Darryl Cherney files an objection to the
destruction of evidence and moves the court to order the FBI to preserve the
evidence and either turn the it over to him for DNA testing and other forensic
analysis, or to deliver it to a certified 3rd party for testing. The FBI
objects, saying it wants to destroy the evidence and claiming that the remains
of two bombs are "contraband" which can not be released to a private
The motion is set for hearing Sept. 8, 2010,
in Federal Court in San Francisco before Magistrate Judge James Larson. A
press conference follows the hearing and will be held in the plaza adjoining
the San Francisco federal building at 450 Golden Gate Ave.
You can read the motion and supporting
documents from the Legal Documents page.
For Immediate Release, Sept. 7, 2010
Motion and supporting documents available online at
Motion to Stop FBI from Destroying Bomb Case Evidence
Hearing Wed., Sept. 8, 9:30AM in San Francisco
Press conference to follow hearing at 450 Golden Gate
Contact: Darryl Cherney; Ben Rosenfeld or Dennis Cunningham, Attorneys
Following the 20th anniversary of the 1990 car bombing and attempted frame
up of Earth First! organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, civil rights
attorneys Dennis Cunningham and Ben Rosenfeld will argue a motion in San
Francisco Federal Court, 450 Golden Gate at 9:30 am this Wednesday, Sept. 8 in
Courtroom F, 15th Floor before Judge James Larson, to prevent the FBI from
destroying two sets of bomb remnants. The motion asks that those remnants and
other evidence to be turned over to Cherney or an agreed upon laboratory for
DNA and other forensic testing to determine the identity of the bomber. A
press conference on the plaza outside the Federal Building will follow the
The case stems from the FBI and Oakland Police attempts to pin a political
bombing on the victims rather than look for the terrorist who tried to kill
Judi Bari by hiding a motion-triggered pipe bomb under the driver's seat of
her Subaru station wagon. The explosion interrupted Bari and Cherney's musical
roadshow in which they traveled to colleges to encourage people to participate
in for the Redwood Summer campaign to stop the logging of ancient redwoods.
They had pulled out of Oakland just before noon, heading to UC Santa Cruz to
perform on that fateful May 24, 1990 when Bari's car exploded on Park Blvd.
near MacArthur. Oakland police and FBI agents instantly declared Bari and
Cherney the only suspects despite the fact that all of the physical evidence
pointed at an assassination attempt and that they provided the FBI on the day
of the bombing with a folder full of death threats targeting them.
Bari (posthumously) and Cherney won a successful civil rights trial in
2002, in which the jury agreed that their First and Fourth Amendment rights
had been violated when the FBI and OPD falsely arrested them and illegally
searched their homes--all in order to discredit and silence them. The events
took place in a highly charged year. A ballot initiative--Forests Forever
(Proposition 130) on the November ballot-- would have banned clearcutting and
preserved ancient forests among other proposed reforms. It was defeated by
just over one percentage point in a major setback.
The FBI, intent on framing Bari and Cherney, has never conducted a sincere
investigation. It has failed even to analyze lifted fingerprints or to do DNA
forensics. Cherney, however, has conducted his own investigation, collecting
and analyzing evidence in pursuit of the bomber the FBI appears intent on
hiding. "There is a logging truck's load of forensic evidence in this
case," said Cherney.
A letter taking credit for two bombings, including the bomb in Bari's car,
signed "The Lord's Avenger," provided details on the design of
another bomb that barely went off at the Louisiana Pacific sawmill in
Cloverdale, CA two weeks before the car bombing, as well as details of the car
bomb. The bomb in Cloverdale is nearly intact and could provide DNA and other
forensic evidence that could identify the bomber.
A jury awarded the two $4.4 million - in Bari's case, to her estate. Later,
the parties settled for a total of $4 million, inclusive of attorney's fees.
The parties also agreed that: (1) the FBI would return evidence to Oakland;
(2) Oakland would turn over evidence to Cherney; (3) the parties would certify
any disputes to the Court; and 4) that May 24, 1990 be proclaimed Judi Bari
Day by the city of Oakland, which did, in fact, occur.
message to feds in $4.4 million verdict for Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney
On June 11, 2002, a
federal jury returned a stunning verdict in favor of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney
in their landmark civil rights lawsuit against
four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers.
The jury unanimously found that six of the seven FBI and OPD
defendants tried to frame Judi and
Darryl in an effort to crush Earth First! and chill participation in Redwood
Summer. That was evident in the fact that 80% of the $4.4 million total
damage award was for violation of their First Amendment rights to speak out and
organize politically in defense of the forests.
"The jury exonerated
us," said Darryl Cherney. "They found the FBI to be the ones in
violation of the law. The
American public needs to understand that the FBI can't be trusted. Ten jurors got a good, hard look at the FBI and they didn't like
what they saw."
"It's really beyond our wildest
dreams," said Darlene Comingore, Judi Bari's friend and executor of her
estate who stood in for her as co-plaintiff in this suit. "We hope the
FBI and Oakland and all the police forces out there that think they can violate
people's rights and get away with it are listening because the people of the
state of California and Oakland today said, 'No, you can't. You can't get away
with it.' "
Lead attorney Dennis Cunningham said
the message he hopes the verdict sends is that: "Ashcroft is doing
precisely the wrong thing to abandon the (Levi) guidelines and let the FBI go
after dissent with a free hand. It's clear that their intention is not about
fighting terrorism, it's about suppressing dissent. That's what the FBI has
always been about. Hopefully it will make Congress think twice about giving them
a free hand."
here to continue reading this article, with more interpretation of the
meaning and importance of the verdict
by the media as well as by individual participants and observers,
including one of the jurors.
To search this website,
type in the box one or more words that must appear on the page you're
looking for and then click on the Google Search button.
(Judi Bari photo at right by Nicholas
to Judi Bari. Judi was a renowned environmental, labor and social justice leader.
She organized nonviolent protests against destructive corporate logging of the redwood forests. She
died of breast cancer on March 2, 1997.
We invite you to explore this website, which is filled with
information about Judi Bari and her case. You'll find articles and speeches by
Judi herself, in writing as well as in audio files which you can listen to over
the Internet. You'll find articles about
Judi, and about her
case against the FBI. You'll find books, tapes and CDs that you can order. There
is a photo gallery with images from Judi's personal collection as
well as police photos of her bombed car. There are legal documents
filed in the
federal lawsuit. There is a poetry page, and we invite new contributions. Note the
Site Index in the left column of
this page listing the main category index pages. Use the Search
Page to look for particular words or phrases, but note that the
very latest additions to the site may not yet have been indexed by Google.com,
which provides the search capability.
Brief History of the Judi Bari Bombing Case
Judi Bari was nearly killed in a still-unsolved terrorist
attack on May 24, 1990, when a motion-triggered pipe bomb wrapped with nails exploded directly under
her driver's seat. She and Darryl Cherney were driving through Oakland,
California when the bomb exploded. They were on a concert and speaking tour to
recruit college students for
Redwood Summer, a campaign of nonviolent mass protests against corporate
Judi was maimed and disabled by the bombing, while Darryl
received lesser injuries. In the previous two months, both had received
numerous death threats from timber industry supporters and had reported them to
local police. They had copies of written death threats in the car, where
investigators found them. Right away, Judi and Darryl told paramedics and police
officers that they had been bombed because of their activism against the timber
industry, and both of them separately named the same individuals and a
right-wing group that they believed were behind the bombing.
But instead of investigating the bombing as attempted murder, as
the evidence clearly showed, the FBI, with the willing collaboration of the
Oakland Police, tried
to frame Judi and Darryl for the bombing, further victimizing them by false
arrest and accusing
them of knowingly
transporting the bomb that nearly killed them.
It was a deliberate, politically
motivated effort to target and "neutralize" Judi, Darryl and Earth
First!, and to discourage people from traveling from all over the nation to join
in Redwood Summer. The sensational false charges made headlines nationwide, and the FBI and their Oakland Police accomplices kept a two-month media smear campaign
going with a series of false claims about physical evidence linking Judi to building the bomb.
But after delaying arraignment for seven weeks, when it was
finally time for the District Attorney to present evidence in court and file
formal charges, the FBI and Oakland Police
didn't actually have any. The D.A. announced he would not file
charges, citing the lack of evidence. The Oakland Police closed their
"investigation," but the FBI continued theirs, telling the media that
Judi and Darryl were their only suspects.
The FBI then used the pretext of investigating the bombing as
cover for a nationwide investigation of Earth First!, sending agents to create
dossiers on over 500 people whose only crime was to have received a
long-distance phone call from Judi, Darryl, or one of 14 other people associated
A year after the bombing, when it was clear that the FBI and OPD were
making no genuine effort to solve the bombing, Judi and Darryl filed a federal
civil rights suit against the FBI and OPD. The suit claims false arrest
and unlawful search in
violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It also claims a
politically-motivated conspiracy in violation of the First Amendment which
attempted to suppress and chill their free speech by discrediting them in public
“This case is not just about me or Darryl or Earth
First!,” Judi said. “This case is about the rights of all political activists to engage in
dissent without having to fear the government's secret police.”
Fully 12 years after the event the bomber or bombers are still free because, as overwhelming evidence
has shown at trial, instead of mounting a genuine investigation of the bombing, the
FBI and OPD:
falsified, fabricated and manipulated evidence,
perjured themselves under oath to get search
warrants and high bail,
conducted a sustained media smear campaign to fool the public,
blamed the victims despite clear evidence of their
conspired to frame and demonize Judi Bari and Earth First! for
spied on nonviolent environmentalists in a phony
investigation of the bombing,
failed to investigate fingerprints and other evidence pointing to the real bombers,
covered up their own wrongdoing and obstruction
To this day the FBI has
never retracted the false charges or apologized. The FBI's sustained
propaganda campaign against Judi, Darryl and Earth
First! succeeded in fooling some people into believing they were bomb-using
The lawsuit was delayed from coming to trial for nearly 11 years by
defense motions and appeals intended to wear the plaintiffs down and prevent the case from ever coming to trial. They gained an
immense advantage when Judi died in 1997, but Judi's estate, Darryl Cherney,
their legal team and supporters have
have kept the suit alive and have cleared every hurdle and
won every appeal. The courts ruled several times prior to trial that there is substantial evidence to support
The evidence was presented in a jury trial that began on April 8, 2002,
and ended June 11 with a stunning vindication of Judi and Darryl, and a $4.4
million award of damages. A full 80% of the damages were for First
Amendment violations, showing that the jury understood that the motivation for
the false arrest and illegal searches was to interfere with Judi and Darryl's
political activism with Earth First! in defense of the redwoods.
In the left column
of this page you'll find
the latest information about
the case, including the verdict form completed by the jury which details the
verdict and damage awards.
(Note: You can click here
for a separate page with just the Brief History for ease in printing it out.)
enjoy this website, bookmark this home page, and come back often to see what's new.
Please scroll down and continue exploring this website.
Click for site index
bombed 20 years ago
Events: May 23-24, 2010
The 20th anniversary of
the pipe bomb attack on Judi Bari, Darryl Cherney
and Earth First! on
May 24, 1990 was recognized in events in the
San Francisco Bay Area
over the course of two days
Twenty years ago on May 24, 1990, a
bomb planted in the car of Earth First! activist Judi Bari exploded, sending
her and fellow activist Darryl Cherney to the hospital in Oakland--Judi with
life-threatening injuries, since the bomb had been hidden directly under her
driver's seat. Judi and Darryl were on their way to a music and speaking
event on the UC Santa Cruz campus, part of an organizing tour for Redwood
That explosion, and the subsequent
attack on Earth First! as well as Judi and Darryl by the FBI and Oakland
police, would forever change the face of forest activism in the redwoods and
elsewhere. The bomber was never found, because the FBI never
conducted a serious investigation, choosing instead to blame and harass Earth
First! activists. But a lawsuit filed by Judi against the FBI for violation of
Constitutional rights was ultimately successful in 2002, vindicating Darryl
and Judi, but coming five years after Judi's untimely death from breast cancer
at the age of 47.
Redwood Summer, 1990, was a mass mobilization of students and others from
across the United States to protest the deforestation of the redwood region in
Northern California, which was being decimated by the corporate chain saw.
The mobilization was
modeled after Mississippi Summer, a major organizing effort in the nation's
civil rights movement in the South in the 1960s. A key architect and
Redwood Summer was labor and environmental leader Judi Bari. The bomb which
nearly killed her was preceded and followed by a smear campaign against
Earth First!, carried out by the FBI, which tried to charge Darryl and
Judi for the bombing, and tried to brand the deep ecology group Earth First!
as a terrorist organization.
Sunday, May 23, 2010 7 pm:
Revolutionary Ecology: a commemoration and a celebration of
revolutionary resistance and movement solidarity
La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck, Berkeley)
Speakers include Ramona Africa, from Move in Philadelphia, Dennis
Cunningham, lead attorney in the Judi Bari vs FBI case, and climate justice
activist Gopal Dayeneni
Live music featured Darryl Cherney, Mokai, Alicia Littletree, K.
Rudin, Gary Ball and others
The event included a film tribute to Judi, exciting historical
exhibit and much more.
Monday, May 24, 2010 11:30 a.m.:
Marking the moment: To mark the moment of the late
morning bomb explosion, people from near and far gathered at 11:30 am at the
Oakland site where the bomb blasted through Judi's car, nearly killing her and forever changing the Earth
First! movement. The site is in
front of Oakland High School, on Park Blvd near East 33rd. There was music and a speak-out.
Cosponsors of these events include Earth First!,
the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the Bay Area Coalition for
Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (BACH)
2530 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
phone: 510 548 3113
First Judi Bari Activist Grants
Two Northern California Coast Women
Naomi Wagner and Lindsey Holm will be the first recipients of the
new Judi Bari Activist Grant, according to a May 29, 2007, news release from Ellen Drell of the Willits Environmental Center. Each of the two will be awarded $5000 in recognition of her exceptional courage and commitment to protecting the forests of northwest California. The public is invited to an awards celebration Saturday, June 16, from 6-8pm, at the Willits Environmental
Center (WEC), 630 S. Main Street in Willits, California. (New location)
The Judi Bari Activist Grants are awarded biennially by the Redwood Justice Fund in collaboration with the Willits Environmental Center. The grants are funded from a portion of the damages awarded to the estate of Judi Bari in 2002, when a jury delivered a stunning verdict against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department in favor of Bari and Darryl Cherney. It was the culmination of an historic 11 year civil rights case.
Naomi Wagner and Lindsey Holm, each in their unique ways, embody the spirit and passion that Judi Bari brought to environmental work. From 1988 until her death from breast cancer in 1997, Judi was a potent and charismatic force in the growing movement to stop the corporate liquidation logging of the redwood forests of Mendocino and Humboldt Counties. Judi was also the first forest activist to reach out to the loggers and mill workers in an effort to form an alliance with environmentalists to promote logging practices that would be sustainable for generations to come. A Willits resident, Judi was known and admired for her courage in facing hostility and danger, her boisterous sense of humor, her electrifying speaking style, and her powerful intellect.
For two decades, Naomi Wagner has devoted her life to forest protection. In 1987 she walked into the Mendocino Environment Center seeking help to organize her neighborhood to fight abusive logging practices in the mountains west of Willits. She taught herself how to interpret official Timber Harvest Plan documents and learned how the public could influence them. Naomi enthusiastically joined Judi Bari and others working to reform abusive logging practices. Already a grandmother, Naomi became active in Earth First!, organizing and participating in nonviolent direct actions. The list of her involvement in forest defense reads like a history of the movement. She has been arrested, spent time in jail and endured a prolonged fast as expressions of her commitment to end non-sustainable logging practices on the North Coast. With her commitment to nonviolence and her rich experience in direct action, Naomi has trained a new generation of activists in the principles of effective action. Asked her reaction to receiving the grant, Naomi said, "I feel very honored for the recognition, but I'm also very aware of the hundreds and actually thousands of others who share the honor because we walk in Judi Bari's footsteps in working together to defend the forest against the corporations."
Twenty-two year old Lindsey Holm was born and raised in northern Humboldt County. Her childhood in the woods led her to become an expert amateur mycologist, which in turn propelled her into defending the old-growth forests of her region. Lindsey was among a group of tree-sitters attempting to save the ancient redwoods of Freshwater Creek near Eureka. When she and others were forcibly extracted from the trees and arrested, she taught herself the law, defended their actions in court, and, without lawyers, won a settlement agreement. Lindsey has become skilled in reviewing Timber Harvest Plans, becoming familiar with the specialties of hydrology, geology and forestry as well as the statutory and regulatory aspects of logging plans. She has recently learned GIS and mapping techniques, and is about to embark on a year-long walk through the redwood bioregion guiding professional photographers to document the condition of this still-threatened ecosystem. Lindsey has demonstrated a voracious intellect, a matching appetite for hard work and a fierce drive to see justice done. And she’s just getting started!
The Redwood Justice Fund and the Willits Environmental Center are proud to honor the memory of Judi Bari and encourage the work of these two exceptional women, Naomi Wagner and Lindsey Holm, by awarding these grants. The public is invited to attend the Saturday, June 16 celebration.
More about Judi Bari
Earth First! leader Judi Bari was nearly killed on May 24, 1990, when a motion-triggered bomb hidden under the driver's seat exploded under her in Oakland. Judi and Darryl Cherney, also an Earth First! organizer, were traveling to promote Redwood Summer, a nonviolent campaign to defend the redwood forests from corporate liquidation logging. Judi had received death threats from timber industry supporters, and had reported them to police. But even as Judi was undergoing emergency surgery for her horrific bomb injuries, the Oakland Police, at the instigation of the FBI, arrested the pair, falsely charging that they were terrorists who were knowingly carrying explosives. It was a deliberate frame-up, as a federal jury would find twelve years later.
For nearly two months after the bomb attack, the FBI and Oakland police subjected Judi, Darryl and the Earth First! movement to a calculated media smear campaign intended to discredit them and neutralize their logging reform work. Eventually the prosecutor announced no criminal charges would be filed against them because there was no evidence they were guilty. Neither the FBI nor OPD ever pursued numerous clues or made any genuine effort to catch the real bomber, but continued to tell media that Judi and Darryl were their only suspects.
Despite the injuries that left Judi crippled for life, the pair filed a federal
civil rights lawsuit to defend themselves and their movement against unlawful governmental interference with their First Amendment right to organize politically in defense of the forests. Five years after Judi's untimely death, a federal jury vindicated her and Darryl, awarding them an unprecedented $4.4 million from the FBI and OPD, with fully 80% of the damage award for First Amendment violations and the rest for false arrest and unlawful search and seizure.
Click here for a printable
PDF version of this news release. (Free Adobe Reader required)
Judi Bari Ten Years On
March 2, 2007
March 2, 2007 was the tenth
anniversary of Judi Bari's passing on March 2, 1997. There was a memorial
gathering in Albion CA to mark the date and honor Judi's memory.
The award-winning documentary The Forest For
The Trees was shown for the first time on the Mendocino Coast. The
film focused on the trial in Judi's 12 year lawsuit against the FBI and
Oakland Police to clear her name of false charges of knowingly carrying a bomb
that nearly killed her when it exploded under her driver's seat. Judi's close
friend Alicia Littletree was there to sing a few songs and start a round of
spontaneous story telling about Judi. One person drove all the way from the
San Francisco Bay area for the event, and drove four hours back afterwards to
go to work the next morning. There were displays of photos, banners and other
memorabilia of Judi and the Enchanted Meadow uprising. The evening concluded
with a showing of Kay Rudin's video tribute Viva Judi Bari.
About 60 people attended the event at the Albion School, a good turnout for a
rural area with a small and widely scattered population, and many competing
events scheduled the same night.
The Albion Nation has had a special affinity for Judi
since she answered the community's call for help in 1992 when Louisiana
Pacific Corporation began logging the redwood forest next to the estuary of
the Albion River at a place called the Enchanted Meadow. Judi helped the
community stage two months of nonviolent protests to slow the logging and call
public attention to it. Tactics included over a dozen treesits, locking down
to logging road gates and equipment and blocking bulldozers. After two months,
an appeals court order shut down the logging as unlawful, validating the
community effort to stop it.
here for a printable poster for the event (55 KB PDF file)
Bari Activist Grant Announced
October 15, 2006 (posted 11/10/06)
The Redwood Justice Fund and the Willits
Environmental Center are pleased to announce the establishment of the “Judi
Bari Activist Grant.” This $5,000 cash grant will be awarded biannually to a
North Coast environmental activist working on the front lines in the “Judi
Bari” tradition. It is intended to allow the recipient to continue working
on behalf of the environment, and to encourage activists to follow in Judi’s
The first grant will be awarded in May, 2007.
We are currently soliciting nominations from environmental groups and
organizations throughout the North Coast. Nominees should be individuals who
embody the qualities we so admired in Judi, and will be evaluated based on the
presence of those qualities, as well as financial need.
full announcement letter with details about grant applications. (53
KB PDF file, Acrobat Reader required)
This site is back online on a new hosting
service (posted 8/25/06)
The site was down for over a week due to a problem
with our hosting company. After trying unsuccessfully for a week to correct
the problem, we took the drastic measure of switching to a new hosting
service. We have restored the complete site as it was before it went down.
Unfortunately, Google tried to crawl the site while it was unavailable, so now
our Google-powered site search finds nothing. It will be functional again
after the next site crawl, which we hope to expedite by sending Google a
complete sitemap. If you find any other site features not working, or broken
links, please send email to webmaster at judibari.org so we can try to fix any
remaining problems. (We don't provide a complete email address here in an
effort to avoid spam robots picking it up and clogging our mailbox with
amazing enlargement offers.)
Bari interviewed on Radio Curious (posted 5/24/06)
In this half-hour Radio Curious interview by Barry Vogel, Judi gives a
brilliant analysis of how Texas corporate raider Charles Hurwitz took over
Pacific Lumber with the help of junk-bond king and convicted felon Michael
Milken. Judi tells how Hurwitz then began liquidating the largest remaining
unprotected old-growth redwood stands in the world while using financial
trickery to line his own pockets to the tune of hundreds of millions of
dollars. Read more and listen to the
interview from our Audio page.
to BBC Radio's documentary: "Don't Mourn,
Organize: The Judi Bari Story"
BBC Radio broadcast a half-hour Judi Bari
documentary in December 2004. The program can now be streamed or downloaded
from our Audio page.
Team Wins Q-Tip Pepper Spray Torture Suit (5/14/05)
The brilliant Bari/Cherney legal team took on and won the federal civil
rights suit brought by non-violent Headwaters Forest protesters who
had pepper spray soaked Q-tips put into their eyes by Humboldt County
sheriff's deputies in 1997. You may remember the shocking police videos that
drew international outrage and condemnation when they were broadcast by
network TV. The forest activists sued in federal court for violation of their
4th Amendment rights by excessive force. There was an evenly split jury in their 1998
San Francisco federal court trial, in which they were represented by a
different legal team. Instead of setting a new trial, the judge
threw the case out, ruling that no reasonable juror could find that excessive force
was used, even though half of the jurors had decided exactly that. The
activists appealed, and the 9th Circuit strongly overturned the trial judge
and granted a new trial. Defendants then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court,
which upheld the 9th Circuit decision.
Soon after the Bari/Cherney legal team took on the case, they
blocked an attempt by the judge to move the second trial to Eureka, and they
got the judge removed from the case for the appearance of bias in his actions.
The second trial in September 2004 in San Francisco ended in another hung
jury, this time split 6-2 in favor of the plaintiffs. The third trial in
April 2005 ended in a unanimous jury verdict for the eight plaintiffs, finding
that Humboldt officers had used unconstitutional excessive force. For much more
information about that case, Lundberg vs. County of Humboldt, see the No
Pepper Spray website (link opens in a new window, close to return
Bari Smeared in Right-Wing Book (posted
1.28.05, revised 5/14/05))
The Secret Wars of Judi Bari: A Car Bomb,
The Fight for the Redwoods, and the End of Earth First! by Berkeley
freelance writer Kate Coleman is a paid-for
hatchet-job. The sham biography was published in January 2005 by Encounter
Books, a non-profit "conservative" publisher which serves as the
propaganda publishing arm of the ultra-right-wing
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.
The book, filled with literally hundreds of lies and factual
errors, is an effort to discredit Judi posthumously because she is a progressive role
model, a strong woman who stood up to corporate power. Encounter Books has also
published smear books on Hillary Clinton and Noam Chomsky, as well as books
lauding right-wing heroes like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and
McCarthy era anti-communist icon Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.
Before starting Encounter books, the Bradley Foundation directly funded
hundreds of right-wing books, including the original trash-for-cash smear book, The Real Anita
Hill by David Brock, who has since had a change of heart and confessed that
the book was almost entirely false and that
he was hired and paid to write it. Like Brock, Kate Coleman has publicly admitted that she was
recruited and paid to write her book, in which she attempts to discredit Judi, Earth
First! and the whole radical environmental movement.
Although she pretends to be a progressive and cites
her participation in Berkeley's Free Speech Movement of the early 1960s, Coleman's
more recent track record includes articles smearing Black Panther
party leaders in right-wing publications put out by David Horowitz, the
well-known former leftist turned hard-right propagandist, editor and TV pundit.
Coleman was hired
to write this attack book on the basis of an article she wrote for the
Anderson Valley Advertiser, a paper whose then-editor, Bruce Anderson, carried on a famous print
vendetta against Judi ever since she quit writing for his paper in 1993 and
denounced him as a sexist bully. Secret Wars is Coleman's first effort
at writing a book. Judging from the book it should also be her last.
Some of Judi's friends and family have looked at Coleman's book and
put together a list of over 350 factual errors and outright lies
it contains, nearly two for every page of text. For a detailed rebuttal of the book and to see the lie list,
please visit www.colemanhoax.info (opens
in a new window).
A new support group,
Friends of Judi Bari (FOJB), has been formed
specifically to defend Judi from this kind of malicious smear attack. You can learn more at the FOJB website,
www.fojb.org (opens in
a new window).
Darlene Comingore, executor of the estate of
Judi Bari, sent a letter to Encounter Books asking that they withdraw
Coleman's book until the hundreds of errors it contains have been corrected.
The text of the letter is below.
Update: As of May 2006, Encounter Books has relocated
to New York City, and Collier has been replaced by a new publisher. Encounter
has not withdrawn Coleman's book, but there has been no visible promotion for
it in nearly a year, and the book seems to have died a richly deserved death.
The book's Amazon sales rank on 5/10/06 stood at 587,852 despite a recent
price cut. That means 587,851 other titles are selling better, making the
Coleman book one of the worst sellers. As of June 7, 2007 the book's sales
rank had slipped to a new record low at 873,824th place among books sold by
Estate of Judi Bari
January 25, 2005
Peter Collier, Publisher
665 Third Street, Suite 330
San Francisco, CA 94107-1951
RE: Request for withdrawal of "The Secret Wars of Judi Bari"
Dear Mr. Collier:
Regardless of political allegiances, it is sometimes possible for people of
differing persuasions to agree that something just isn’t true. Although you
run an ideologically-based publishing house, I trust that you have the
intellectual integrity to want to avoid knowingly printing false information
under the guise of non-fiction.
Any book can have a few mistakes. But Encounter Books’ recent title,
"The Secret Wars of Judi Bari," seems to have broken some kind of
record. A page-by-page listing of its factual errors and false assertions has
reached 351 entries, and the book is only 232 pages long. These errors range
from small oneslike the constant misplacing of people, dates and eventson
up to serious libels, like the claim that Bari abandoned environmental
activism and instead promoted her image as a martyr in order to benefit
You may quarrel with some of the listings, but most are indisputable. Fifteen
key errors are refuted with on-line documentation, and many more will be
included in the "Instant Proof" section as additional documents are
As someone who was a friend, political colleague, and ally with Judi from 1979
to the day of her death in 1997, the portrait painted in this book is not one
that I recognize. Please don't take my word for this. In his LA Times review
of your book published January 25, 2005, Mr. Mark Hertsgaard writes,
"‘The Secret Wars of Judi Bari’ could be assigned in journalism
schools to teach how not to do investigative reporting." As a
person who Judi named to protect her interests, Ms. Coleman neither contacted
me nor to my knowledge attempted to contact me to verify any assertions she
presented in her book.
A book can't claim to be a biography with this level of error, whether it is
deliberate or just the consequence of a lazy author or incompetent
fact-checkers. That doesn't mean that Judi Bari is above criticism. But
everyonedead or aliveis entitled to a certain base-line honesty in the
telling of the story of his or her life.
For these reasons, the Estate of Judi Bari requests that you withdraw
"The Secret Wars of Judi Bari" from publication until it can be
corrected. The extensive critique that has been posted by her family, friends
and associates at www.colemanhoax.info
should be helpful.
I look forward to hearing from you. You may contact me by phone at --------,
by email at ---------, or in writing in care of my attorney Mr. Daryl J.
Weinroth, Esq., 750 Grant Avenue, Suite 250, Novato, CA 94947.
Very truly yours,
Darlene G. Comingore
FBI and Oakland Police Pay Earth First! $4 Million to Conclude Lawsuit, Avoid
Unanimous 2002 Jury Verdict Remains Intact for Violation of
Press Release, May 13, 2004
from Darryl Cherney
A fourteen-year saga ended on Friday, May 7, as the FBI joined the City
of Oakland in paying Earth First! activists Darryl Cherney and the late Judi
Bari through her estate a combined $4 million for violations of their first
and fourth amendment rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The
lawsuit stemmed from a May 24, 1990 car bombing of the pair. The FBI and
Oakland police instantly blamed Bari and Cherney for bombing themselves even
though they had conducted no investigation and all evidence collected showed
they were the victims of an assassination attempt.
A ten-person jury in Judge Claudia Wilken's Federal District Courtroom in
Oakland originally awarded Bari and Cherney $4.4 million, but a post-trial
contractual agreement was engineered to avoid appeals by both sides.
Attorney Dennis Cunningham led the legal team of Bob Bloom, Tony Serra,
William Simpich and Ben Rosenfeld, all of the SF bay area. Fee attorney
James Wheaton of the First Amendment Project joined post-trial efforts to
draft a fee motion, which if it prevailed, could have doubled the amount the
defendants would have had to pay, setting legal precedents the FBI wanted to
avoid and Oakland could not afford. Numerous other post trial motions
and pending appeals were all dropped by all sides to conclude the case.
But when the dust cleared, the jury verdict remained in place. For one
of the only too rare times in history, the citizens of the United States
scored a victory for civil rights over the scandal plagued, notorious Federal
Bureau of Investigation.
Alicia Littletree, who lived with Judi Bari and was considered to be her protégé,
was dubbed the "Most Valuable Paralegal" by all involved. "Our
lawyers were the only legal team that could have pulled this off. They were
geniuses," she said. When asked how Judi might react to the
victory, Littletree said, "Judi wouldn't have gotten over the feeling
that the bombing is not solved. That is a lingering part of the fight.
Judi wouldn't give up just because the money came in." She
added about the settlement, "It's an easy way out for the FBI."
Cherney vowed to continue the investigation of the bombing. Included in
the post-trial victory settlement, Cherney achieved the return of all evidence
in the case. He was also able to convince the Oakland City Council to
proclaim May 24 to be "Judi Bari Day. " Plans are still being
formulated for victory celebrations up and down the coast of California.
Cherney said that no individual involved with this case would net more than
$500 thousand dollars. When asked how he will spend the funds, he
replied, "Acquire a modest home, help fund a continued investigation of
the bombing, donate to worthy groups, and channel energy into producing CD's
of eco-music." Cherney and Bari were bombed on their way to a
musical performance that doubled as an organizing drive for a campaign called
Redwood Summer 1990. Bari played fiddle, Cherney guitar, and they both
sang and wrote songs.
Attorney Bob Bloom said, "If we get a few more victories like this, it
might affect what the FBI, the domestic army of the United States, does to
people." Cherney added, "In the wake of 9/11 and
Bush's assault on our civil rights, our trial victory is more urgent then
ever. We the people will not stand for the FBI or any government agency
clearcutting the constitution. May a thousand lawsuits bloom from this
one to hold the FBI accountable for their too-many-to-count violations of the
laws they are supposed to uphold."
City of Arcata Proclaims November 7th Judi Bari Day
The mayor and city council of Arcata, California this week proclaimed November 7th as the city's annual Judi Bari Day, honoring the late environmental and social justice activist on her birthday.
Arcata Mayor Bob Ornelas, in an interview on KMUD News this evening, said he had long admired Bari and was happy to sign the proclamation honoring her. "Judi Bari really was a special person -- very effective," Ornelas said. "She came from a labor background. She understood the challenge of trying to work in the woods and leave it in a better condition then when you got there." Ornelas said Bari and Cherney "really brought redwoods to the forefront [of public awareness] with Redwood Summer and those kinds of activities." The mayor added that support for the Judi Bari Day proclamation by the council was unanimous. "I'm not aware of any level of protest in the community -- well maybe later in the week by some of the right-wing radio stations."
Arcata, on Humboldt Bay a few miles north of Eureka, is home to Humboldt State University. Humboldt County's economy has for over a century been dominated by the redwood logging industry, and is still the scene of heated controversy over the continued logging of the few old-growth redwood forests left in the world by Maxxam Corporation-owned Pacific Lumber Company.
Arcata joins the City of Oakland, California in designating an annual Judi Bari day. Acting earlier this year, Oakland chose to honor Bari on May 24, the date she was severely injured by a car bomb explosion under her seat in 1990 as she drove through that city while organizing an environmental campaign. Bari died on March 2, 1997 of breast cancer at the age of 47.
Last year a federal jury found several FBI agents and Oakland police officers liable for $4.4 million for violating the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Bari and fellow Earth First! activist Darryl Cherney by falsely arresting them for the bombing, unlawfully searching their property, and conducting a media smear campaign aimed at destroying their credibility and effectiveness as environmental and political organizers. Negotiations have been under way for months in an effort to work out a post-trial settlement that would avoid the additional expense and delay of appeals by both sides in the federal
The text of the Arcata proclamation follows:
Declaring November 7th
Judi Bari Day
Whereas, November 7th is the birthday of Judi Bari, a dedicated activist, who worked for many social and environmental causes, the most prominent being the protection and stewardship of California's ancient redwood forests; and
Whereas, examples of Judi Bari's efforts include the preservation of the Headwaters Forest in Humboldt country, the protection of the Cahto Wilderness and the Albion River Watershed in Mendocino County; and
Whereas, prominent environmental activist David Brower stated on the occasion of her untimely death on March 2, 1997 from cancer at the age of 47, "Judi always projected an unwavering commitment to her values and her continued urgings to affect apathy into action. We will miss her commitment and compassion, her strength, courage and conviction. We can honor her by sharing it."
Now, therefore, the City of Arcata hereby designates November 7th as Judi Bari Day and celebrates and honors the work of Judi Bari in advancing the causes of forest protection, labor organizing, bridge building between environmentalists and timber workers, and civil rights for political activists; and
Be it further proclaimed that the City shall encourage its schools, civic institutions and citizens to memorialize Judi Bari's work through art,
media, festivals, school assignments and other creative means.
Dated: November 5, 2003
(Signed) Robert J. Ornelas, Mayor
Legal Team wins Top
National Lawyers Award! (7/30/03)
Our excellent legal team has just won the prestigious Trial
Lawyer of the Year award for 2003 for its work on the Bari vs. FBI case. Our
team shared the award with another legal team who won a large settlement
reforming working and living conditions for sweatshop workers overseas.
the official announcement:
Solo practitioners Dennis Cunningham, J. Tony Serra, Robert Bloom and
Ben Rosenfeld of San Francisco, and William A. Simpich of
Oakland, California, along with William H. Goodman of Moore &
Goodman in New York and Michael E. Deutsch of The People's Law Office
in Chicago received the nationally prestigious award from The Trial Lawyers
for Public Justice (TLPJ) Foundation at its 21st Anniversary Gala on July
22, 2003, for winning a rare $4.4 million jury verdict in Estate of Judi
Bari v. Doyle against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the
City of Oakland for violating the civil rights of two environmental
activists during a 1990 bomb investigation.
This award is bestowed annually upon the trial lawyer or lawyers who have
made the greatest contribution to the public interest by trying or settling
a precedent-setting case. It is the nation's single most prestigious award
for trial lawyers.
"These exceptional attorneys offer powerful examples of how trial
lawyers play a crucial role in exposing and redressing government intrusion
and corporate misconduct," said outgoing Foundation President Paul
Stritmatter of Stritmatter Kessler Whelan Withey Coluccio in Hoquiam,
Washington. "We are proud to honor them for their exemplary work
defending the Constitution and protecting workers' rights."
In Estate of Judi Bari v. Doyle the jury found that both the FBI
and the City had violated the First and Fourth Amendment rights of Earth
First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney, under the false cover of a
"terrorist" investigation. The verdict in this case sends a
strong, cautionary message about the value of our constitutional rights and
the abuse of law enforcement power in the name of national security.
You can read the full July
28, 2003 press release from TLPJ announcing the award winners and other
nominees. It's all the more impressive that our team won when you see the kind
and importance of cases won by the other nominees.
Go team! Congratulations!
Viva Judi Bari!!!
Judi Bari vs. the FBI: Snatching Victory
from the Jaws of Deceit (posted 4/13/03)
Legal teamers Ben Rosenfeld and Dennis Cunningham
wrote a new article about the case for the Fall 2002 issue of NLG
Practitioner, the legal journal of the National Lawyers Guild.
It begins with a brief case
overview, then, in the authors' words: "use(s) the case as a lens to explore a number of
key challenges in civil rights litigation which we wrestled with, in order to
aid fellow activists and attorneys in winning more 'people’s victories.' While we offer it as a law review article, we
have not cluttered it with legal citations, in hopes that it will be accessible
to attorneys and non-attorneys alike."
Click here to read the article.
Mary Nunn speaks out about the Bari vs. FBI trial on KMUD radio
(posted 8/20/02, revised 8/29/02)
Juror Mary Nunn was a guest on KMUD public radio's Women on Wednesday program
on July 31, 2001. She was also interviewed that day by KMUD news director Estelle Fennell.
Mrs. Nunn had
a lot to say about the wrongdoing of the FBI and Oakland Police in the
Bari-Cherney bombing case. KMUD, with studios in Redway, California, is the community
public radio station for the southern Humboldt County area where Darryl Cherney
Women on Wednesday talk show included an approximately 1 hr.
segment with Mary Nunn. We have split it into two MP3 files. The KMUD News
interview with Mary runs about 11.5 min., and is a separate MP3 file.
Click here to stream the KMUD News segment
here to stream the two Women on Wednesday files (M3U playlist) (broken
links fixed 8/24/02)
Download KMUD News segment (1.6 MB)- www.judibari.org/audio/nunnkmudnews.mp3
Download Women on Wednesday Part 1 (4.7 MB) - www.judibari.org/audio/nunnkmudwow1.mp3
Download Women on Wednesday Part 2 (4.1 MB) - www.judibari.org/audio/nunnkmudwow2.mp3
For more information on how to listen to these files please see our Audio
Juror Mary Nunn interview
published online (7/28/02)
An in-depth interview with Bari vs. FBI trial juror Mary
Nunn has just been published online by the Albion Monitor. Following are a few
Monitor: You are the only juror who is willing to talk about your
Mary Nunn: I really want to tell my story because I felt really
passionate about it. And for so long you couldn't talk about it. I think if
you don't speak out about it and tell the truth about what happened, and how
it was manipulated, then people won't know. And then every time they read
something about the FBI they'll be taken in. ...
When I started that trial I didn't know anything about environmentalists or
that movement. I didn't know anything about this group. And I was kind of
like, well, maybe they acted up a bit; maybe the police were worthy. I went in
there with that attitude. But when I sat and listened to the evidence, and I
saw all that had happened, I did a 180-degree turn in that courtroom. And then
my heart just poured out to them. I couldn't believe what they had been
Monitor: Did you think the police and FBI witnesses were lying in
Nunn: They absolutely were lying. I didn't just think that they were
lying. The search warrant showed that they were lying. Their inconsistency
showed that they were lying. Their stories didn't jibe, not one together. Each
one was evading the question or saying they didn't remember. These people are
notorious for note keeping. They're notorious for their files. So all of a
sudden they don't recall anything? Well you had twelve years to catch up. Why
didn't you prepare yourself? Why didn't you go at least to acting classes and
get lessons in how to present yourself in a desirable fashion on the stand?
Monitor: Eighty percent of the total damage award was for First
Amendment violations. How did the defendants violate the First Amendment
rights? What acts did they do?
Nunn: One that really touched me was the nightly TV news spots that
(OPD Lt. Michael) Sims delivered, smearing their name. It was just character
assassination. It was just horrible. Sending that all over the Bay Area and
who knows where else. "These are bombers. There are no other suspects.
Our primary focus is on these two." It was horrifying. How do you rebound
from that? They lost their ballot Proposition 130 that year, not to mention
the trees. They lost their face in society. Judi's kids were teased and
taunted at school. They had to walk around in fear, never knowing where this
crazy bomber is at.
Monitor: Did you feel the defendants deliberately framed Judi and
Nunn: I think from the moment that (Special Agent Frank) Doyle came
on that scene he went right to work, and they followed him. I think they were
heavily influenced by him. But at a point in time, as they took the FBI
helicopter out in the night, and they searched, and did other searches prior
to that, and all those interviews, I think they finally came to a
determination that, "you know what, we don't have anything here." By
that morning when they got back from the all-night search they could have let
them go. At any time they could start doing right, but they wouldn't. They
kept up with it. So, yeah, it was deliberate, absolutely. There was a point
when they could have tried to clean it up. ...
Read the full Mary Nunn interview in the Albion Monitor at:
(broken link repaired 8/21/02)
FBI lied about probe, juror says
July 3, 2002 -- Three weeks after they ordered Oakland
police and the FBI to pay Earth First organizers $4.4 million, jurors were
allowed to speak for the first time Tuesday, and one of them said
"investigators were lying so much it was insulting."
"The FBI and Oakland (police) sat up there and lied
about their investigation," said juror Mary Nunn of Oakley. "They
messed up their investigation, and they had to lie again and again to try to
cover up. I'm surprised that they seriously expected anyone would believe
Please click here to
continue reading three press articles reporting juror comments.
Verdict Press Release from the Bari vs. FBI Media Office
OAKLAND, CA, Tuesday, June 11, 2002 —
The jury in the Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney federal
civil rights lawsuit against four FBI agents and three Oakland Police officers
awarded plaintiffs $4.4 million for violation of the activists’ constitutional
rights and returned a verdict largely in favor of Earth First! activists Cherney
and the late Judi Bari. In a legal victory of historic proportions against the
FBI, the jury found that six of the seven defendants violated the First and
Fourth Amendments of the Constitution by arresting the activists, conducting
searches of their homes, and carrying out a smear campaign in the press, calling
Earth First! a terrorist organization and calling the activists bombers, in the
aftermath of the explosion of a bomb that was planted in Judi Bari’s car in
1990. This verdict finds unlawful the actions of those in charge of the bombing
investigation, and vindicates Bari and Cherney.
FBI agents Frank Doyle, John Reikes, Philip Sena and OPD officer Mike Sims
were found to have violated Bari and Cherney’s First Amendment rights. In
addition, OPD officer Sitterud was found to have violated Cherney’s First
Amendment rights. Doyle and Chenault were found to have violated Bari’s Fourth Amendment
rights related to the search of her home, and Doyle and OPD officer Chenault
were found to have violated Cherney’s Fourth Amendment rights. FBI agent Doyle
and OPD officer Sims were found to have violated Bari’s Fourth Amendment
rights in relation to her arrest. The jury returned an "undecided"
verdict with respect to violations of Cherney’s Fourth Amendment rights for
Frank Doyle was the agent in charge of the 1990 bomb scene, and taught an FBI
bomb school at a Louisiana Pacific clearcut a month prior to the bombing. Doyle
was also the Squad 13 relief supervisor. Squad 13 was the joint terrorism squad
made up of FBI and Oakland officers and collected extensive files on political
groups in the Bay Area.
Reikes was the head of the FBI’s terrorist squad who came to OPD
headquarters the day of the bombing to give the inflammatory briefing on Earth
Sena was already engaged in a secret investigation of Earth First! and
concocted a fake informant tip.
Sims was an OPD homicide lieutenant in charge of other officers investigating
the bombing and the decision-maker for the unjust arrests of the activists.
Sitterud ignored evidence at the scene and concocted information that would
implicate the activists. Chenault wrote the first fraudulent search warrant
This verdict is a referendum against the FBI’s gross interference with
people’s right to dissent at a time when Attorney General Ashcroft, FBI
Director Mueller and the Bush administration are arrogating huge power to
themselves and the FBI to spy on legitimate groups and organizers and infringe
the Constitutional rights of the public. The filled-out 21-page verdict form is
available for viewing and printing at http://www.judibari.org/third_verdict_form_final.pdf
Click for site index
Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor: (sent to several newspapers June 18, 2002)
Over the last twelve years, thousands of people in Northern California
and through out the country have supported Judi Bari in her fight for justice
with the FBI and Oakland Police Department.
That support has been in many forms.
Standing up for and with her when she was accused of being a terrorist.
Contributing money that allowed us to take this struggle to trial.
Supporting her right to have her day in court when that right was
challenged from many sides.
Now after twelve years, a jury of
working people found that the FBI and Oakland did a frame up job on Judi and
that they did try to stop her work by knowingly and falsely accusing her of
being a terrorist. Although this
victory comes after her death and goes no where near complete justice, what we
have won is critical. What we
have won, besides clearing Judi’s name, is a sign that people are unwilling
to trade freedom for so-called security.
What we have won is a message to the FBI and police forces everywhere
that if you violate the constitution you will be made to pay.
What we have won is a basis with which to challenge the actions of the
current administration’s efforts to rewrite the constitution, which would
eliminate the requirement for evidence and proof before depriving someone of
As Judi’s close friend, political
comrade, and the executor of her estate, I want to take this time to thank all
of the people who have stood with us over these last twelve years. Your support was the reason we were able to force the FBI and
Oakland to be accountable for their actions.
Your support and action will help ensure that the constitution will be
applied to all people in our country.
Bari's statement for the Bari family
(read by Martha Bari on Pacifica's Democracy Now! on June 12, 2002; posted here
My family is grateful to the jury and wants to thank them for their
courageous decision. They have affirmed our faith in the justice system. We're
only sorry that my sister Judi is no longer alive and able to share this sweet
Before and after my sister's bombing in 1990, law enforcement that we
normally turn to for protection was not there for her. When the call went out
over a Fort Bragg radio station to kill Judi Bari, no one stepped in to
diffuse the situation. When she received even more death threats, the local
police cold-heartedly dismissed her pleas for help. And after she was
viciously bombed, the system failed her again.
When her family and friends came to her side at the Oakland hospital, they
found her critically hurt and in horrific, obscene pain. Yet Judi was also in
a state of panic. Not only could she receive no police protection from the
anonymous bomber who was still at-large, but the Oakland Police wanted to pull
her from her room and place her in handcuffs in the hospital's prison ward for
supposedly bombing herself. She suffered further indignities when she heard
herself characterized as an eco-terrorist bomber by the news media, and when
her house was publicly searched by the FBI as she lay helplessly in her
hospital bed. Thereafter, she lived in constant pain and anxiety, and spent
the rest of her life trying to clear her name.
The ripple effect of a violent crime is enormous. When the authorities are
against you rather than on your side, all the problems are magnified. Judi
suffered, her two young children suffered, her family suffered, and her wider
community of friends and supporters suffered. Now that the Oakland Police and
the FBI have been brought to justice, they owe it to my family to explain what
cause they had to hold my sister's civil rights in such contempt.
Judi's political message was adamantly nonviolent. Yet, for 12 long years
she has been wrongly connected with terrorism. After Sept. 11th and the
threatening of many of our rights in the name of homeland security, I'm afraid
that this scenario will occur more often. My family has seen up close how much
harm can result when rights are ignored. In Judi's case, the authorities
stepped outside the law, and yesterday they were found guilty of false arrest,
defamation of character, and illegal search and seizure. The verdict reminds
us that protection against terrorism should never outweigh the protection of
our own civil rights. Otherwise, like my sister Judi Bari, we will be made to
suffer the consequences.
online to Democracy Now's radio coverage of the verdict featuring Martha Bari,
Darryl Cherney and Bob Bloom (June 12, 2002)
Cherney Interviewed in Earth First! Journal
Here's a snippet from the interview in August-September,
EF!J: With striking implications for the Earth First! and global justice
movements, can you share your thoughts on what the verdict means to the
DC: First of all, it means that the movement can fight back. We don’t
have to take this crap from the FBI.
I can tell you that the FBI probably finds nothing in the world more
distasteful than to pay any activists in the Earth First! movement
four-and-a-half million dollars. That, in and of itself, is very sweet. Now we
haven’t exactly gotten that money yet, and it might be years before we see a
penny, nevertheless the concept is probably driving the FBI up the wall.
Secondly, it shows that Earth First! was targeted by the FBI, and that we
are victims of FBI terrorism, as opposed to being terrorists ourselves. That
the real terrorists are in government. This news is certified in the record,
and the FBI is going to have to live with that no matter what.
It also shows that 10 members of the American public can look at Earth
First! and look at the FBI and OPD and make a decision that the Earth First!
activists were trustworthy and that the police officers were not.
here to read more of "FBI on the Run - Darryl
Cherney celebrates a stunning victory in the EF! vs. FBI lawsuit" by
Turtle (opens a new window to EF! Journal site; close that
window to return here)
Click for site index
Details (posted 6/19/02)
4TH AMENDMENT CLAIMS
Found to have violated Judi Bari's rights in connection with her arrest
Frank Doyle (FBI), John Reikes (FBI), and Clyde M. Sims
Could a reasonable officer have believed that his conduct was lawful?
Doyle No; Reikes Yes; Sims NO (If yes they are immune from suit)
What amount do you award Bari to compensate for injury, loss or harm $235,000
Percentage of above damages
Doyle 10% Sims 90%
Found to have violated Judi Bari's rights in connection with May
25, 1990 search
Doyle, Reikes, Sims, Robert Chenault (OPD),
Michael Sitterud (OPD)
Could a reasonable officer have believed that his conduct was lawful?
Doyle No; Reikes Yes; Sims Yes; Chenault No; Sitterud Yes
Percentages Doyle 70% Chenault 30%
Found to have violated Darryl Cherney's rights in connection with
Could a reasonable officer have believed that his conduct was lawful?
Chenault Yes; All others Undecided
Found to have violated Darryl Cherney's rights in
connection with May 25, 1990 search
Doyle, Reikes, Sims, Chenault
Could a reasonable officer have believed that his conduct was lawful?
Doyle No; Reikes Yes; Sims Yes; Chenault No
Doyle 70%; Chenault 30%
FIRST AMENDMENT CLAIMS
Found to have violated Judi Bari's first amendment rights
Doyle, Reikes, Philip Sena (FBI), Sims
Percentages Doyle 22.5%; Reikes 22.5%; Sena 5%; Sims
Found to have violated Darryl Cherney's first amendment
Doyle, Reikes, Sena, Sims, Sitterud
Percentages Doyle 17.5%; Reikes 17.5%; Sena 5%; Sims
50%; Sitterud 10%
For conspiracy to violate Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney's First Amendment
All not liable
Fourth Amendment Claims (Judi Bari)
Doyle (FBI) $300,000
Fourth Amendment Claims (Darryl Cherney)
Doyle (FBI) $100,000
First Amendment Claims (Judi Bari) $1,000,000
Reikes (FBI) $600,000; Sims (OPD) $400,000
First Amendment Claims (Darryl Cherney) $550,000
Reikes (FBI) $300,000; Sims (OPD) $250,000
Summary of Damage Awards (Posted in response to media inquiries, revised
Total damages $4,400,000
1st Amendment $3,525,000 (80.1%), 4th Amendment $875,000 (19.9%)
FBI defendants $2,399,000 (54.5%), OPD defendants $2,001,000 (45.5%)
Compensatory $2,450,000 (55.7%), Punitive $1,950,000 (44.3%)
Judi Bari $2,900,000 (65.9%), Darryl Cherney $1,500,000 (34.1%)
Punitive damages $1,950,000
FBI defendants $1,300,000 (66.7%), Oakland defendants $650,000 (33.3%)
Click here for a spreadsheet
table of the damages giving
more detail and summing up damages by plaintiff, defendant, violation, agency,
and punitive vs. compensatory
Click for site index
More News, Updates and Hot Items
Our main email channel for press releases,
bulletins, announcements and news clippings from the Bari vs. FBI law office and media center in
Oakland. Subscribe to the list by sending a blank email from the address where you want
to receive messages to BariNewsfirstname.lastname@example.org
An archive of BariNews bulletins sent to date can be found
at the BariNews
home page at Yahoo Groups.
The Albion Monitor is an independent progressive Internet newspaper which has
reported extensively about Judi Bari and the bombing case and trial. The link above opens
the Monitor's Judi Bari Resources Index page in a new window. Once you're
there, be sure to also visit the Monitor's front page by clicking on the
Monitor logo at the top of the page.
Hundreds attend May 24, 2002 Judi Bari Day rally (posted
Several hundred people gathered for the annual noon rally in
the courtyard of the Oakland Federal Building May 24, 2002, to mark the 12th
anniversary of the car-bombing of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. The rally
also celebrated the first annual Judi Bari
Day, honoring the late environmental, labor and social justice organizer.
The rally also celebrated the end
of seven weeks of trial in Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney's historic federal
civil rights suit against the FBI and Oakland police. Members of our legal team
spoke, including Dennis
Cunningham, Tony Serra, Bob Bloom, Bill Simpich, Ben Rosenfeld and Alicia Littletree.
Folksinger Utah Phillips and fiddler Morgan Fichter hosted the rally, whose
theme was "Fiddle
Down the FBI," referring to the FBI seizing Judi's childhood fiddle as
evidence and never giving it back. Musicians
included Utah Phillips, Laurie Lewis, Darryl
Cherney, Alicia Littletree and many more.
For a nice essay on the rally by Dan
Brook on the ZNet website click
here (Opens in a new window. Close it to return here.)
Click for site index
Judi Bari deposition audio -- MP3 files taken from the audio track of her
deposition videotape as shown in court at the end of trial in Bari vs. FBI, May
Judi's sworn deposition was taken just a month before her death in order to
preserve her testimony in a form admissible at trial. This is the depo
that the FBI didn't want to happen. Their attorney Joe Sher threatened to
delay it. When Judi's impending death from cancer was mentioned, Sher accused
her of faking cancer. He used his threat of delay to coerce an agreement that
the deposition could not be made public except whatever portions became part
of the court record. He then objected to virtually every question asked of
Judi by Dennis Cunningham, then objected to Judi's answers, interfering with
their train of thought and the flow of the story. Judi was very ill and was
lying on a couch propped up with pillows but she told her truth and got it on
record. The two days of deposition were reduced to just 90 minutes of edited
video shown to the jury, with all of Sher's objections edited out along with
much of Judi's testimony. See below for the transcript
of Judi's deposition. There are three MP3 files of approximately
30 min. each. which you can stream or download. Click
here to go to the Audio Files page to access the files.
Names and brief information about the
plaintiffs, defendants, legal teams, witnesses and other names involved in the
trial of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney's civil rights suit against certain FBI
agents and Oakland Police officers. It also lists the order in
which witnesses have been called.
Click for site index
text of Order for Entry of Partial Verdict in Acrobat PDF
format (posted 8/27/02)
Bari deposition transcript in Acrobat PDF format (posted
This is the redacted (censored) version authorized by the
court as a guide for editing the videotaped deposition shown to the jury at
trial. This version maintains the official page and line numbering, but has been
compressed from double spacing to single, and multiple pages per sheet. By a
combination of the redaction and the layout compression, 281original pages
have been reduced to a 53 page Adobe Acrobat file. Note that MP3
audio files of the deposition are also available on this website.
Instructions and Final
Verdict Form (details of 6/11/02 verdict)
The judge's official legal instructions to the jury
and the filled in jury verdict form returned by the jury to report
their verdict are
available in Acrobat PDF format. Because these are graphic images of
the pages rather than text, the files are fairly large, about 300 K each, but
they have been optimized for rapid Web view, so if you have an up-to-date
version of Acrobat
Reader the first page will display very quickly, and you won't have to
wait for the whole document to download before you can begin reading it. Once
the file is fully downloaded you can save it to disk for future reference.
Offer of Proof
re FBI Misconduct, COINTELPRO (filed 5/14/02)
Plaintiffs proffer the testimony of two experts on the policy and practice of
COINTELPRO – the purpose of which was to maintain the existing social and
political order by the use of techniques carrying a serious risk of physical,
emotional, and economic damage. The techniques also include callous disregard
of clearly established law, the prevention and disruption of the exercise of
First Amendment rights by the use of propaganda, bogus mailings and pamphlets,
the use of informants, fictitious organizations, the use of hostile third
parties to raise controversial issues against targeted groups, and the
dissemination of derogatory information and the interference with and abuse of
the judicial process. Plaintiffs' proof also includes evidence of the FBI's
practice of using state authorities to conduct raids, make arrests, and
prosecute cases based on spurious charges. The use of all such FBI practices
are present in the instant case. The offer shows a 65-year history of such
policy and practices, continuing to the present day.
The brief includes statements about the Bari case by historian Prof. Howard
Zinn and by Flint Taylor Esq., an attorney with deep knowledge of
the FBI's methods for "neutralizing" political targets.
Judge Wilken ruled that this information was irrelevant to the case against
the individual defendants and barred it from being mentioned during the trial.
This document was submitted to make an additional record for appeal.
Click here to read the full 45 page
document in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. (307KB PDF file)
Dennis Cunningham's opening argument to the jury sets out what the case is
about, what the evidence will show and what plaintiffs would like the jury to
do about it. Court Reporter's Transcript. (posted 4/28/02)
Summarizes the false arrest and conspiracy case against
the FBI and Oakland Police. In Adobe Acrobat format, requires the free Acrobat
Reader. (posted 2/6/02)
by noted historian Prof. Howard Zinn
FBI's long history of political repression (posted 7/19/01)
by former FBI Special Agent John C. Ryan
routine fraud by FBI agents in handling supposed informant information. (posted 7/19/01)
More Legal Documents online
Click for site index
Judi Bari shows police photo of her bombed car. Photo by Evan Johnson ©1993
Our Judi Bari web photo gallery is
now online for your enjoyment and information.
DNA evidence withheld for years by the FBI which provides
valuable clues as to who bombed Earth First! organizers Judi Bari and Darryl
Cherney in 1990 was released at a Sept. 18 press conference following the
testing for genetic material found on envelopes of three key documents. The
Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has opened a new investigation into this
School, and Other Atrocities, Judi's brilliant October 1994
article about the FBI Bomb School and evidence that the FBI deliberately put out
false information to smear her as a terrorist rather than being the victim of an
assassination attempt. Illustrated with photos of the bombed car. (posted
Click for site index
MP3 Audio Files are available on this site
Ecology - The Legacy of Judi Bari
min. radio documentary narrated by Ruby Dee and produced by Noelle Hanrahan.
This excellent program aired on the Alternative Radio series in December, 2000.
In Judi's own words and the comments of Carl Anthony, Karen Picket, Michael
Parenti, Ed Herman, Jose Lopez, Geronimo ji jaga and Ramona Africa, this radio
documentary tells her story. You can listen to this program via MP3 streaming
audio or download it to your computer's hard drive from our Audio
Files page. (added 1/29/01)
Read the Transcript
of the program. (added 1/30/01)
Judi's 1996 Berkeley presentation of her case
against the FBI. Hear Judi at her awesome peak, revealing
her impish sense of humor, her intellect, and her amazing grasp of the
case. Laugh while you learn the shocking facts in a way you'll remember.
Alicia Littletree broadcast this program May 12, 2000 on KZYX/KZYZ
Mendocino County Community Radio. Thanks, Alicia.
Music files available for download in high quality MP3 format
The FBI Stole My Fiddle
Who Bombed Judi Bari?
Click here to go
to the Audio Files Page
Hear Judi Bari tell
of being bombed on May 24, 1990
Listen to a 4 min. audio clip from the CD "Who Bombed Judi
Click here to stream an MP3 file to Winamp or other players that use M3U
or Click here to stream an MP3 file to Windows Media Player
For more sound files, visit our Audio index page
Eco-Terrorism — COINTELPRO Tactics Target Environmentalists
RSJP's four-page illustrated brochure included with the August 1999
mailing covers recent incidents of harassment of activists such as the
firebombing of an Earth First! activist's van in Ohio, the pipe bombing of the
Forest Guardians in New Mexico, new FBI investigation of EF! activist Darryl
Cherney, harassment and investigation of activists at Headwaters Forest, Vail
Colorado, and Minnehaha Minnesota, a disinformation campaign aimed at
discrediting Judi Bari's case against the FBI, and more.
Secret Police - FBI COINTELPRO in the 1990s
Click here for the complete brochure
as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file, complete with four photos, graphics and nice
layout exactly as printed for the mailing. (Note: 260K download takes time but
it's worth the wait. (Note: you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed
on your computer to read this file. If you don't have it, please go to http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html
for a free download of the latest version.).
Report by Noelle Hanrahan in association
with RSJP and included with the April 1998 update mailing.
On April 22, 1970, as 22 million Americans rallied across
the country on the first Earth Day celebration, FBI agents in over 40 cities
were ordered to spy on and infiltrate these events. Senator Edwin Muskie,
himself a victim, remarked from the floor of Congress that this surveillance
was "a dangerous threat to fundamental constitutional rights." The
power of the environmental movement and the challenge it posed to
business-as-usual made it an instant target for FBI suppression. (posted
Judi Bari Bombing Revisited -- Big Timber, Public
Relations and the FBI -- analysis
and commentary by Nicholas Wilson
(Note: This article should open in a new browser window.)
This article reviews the evidence and presents a theory that Judi was
bombed and then framed for it as part of a timber industry public relations
campaign to defeat the Forests Forever initiative, Prop. 130 on the November
1990 ballot. The corporations paid giant PR firm Hill & Knowlton
millions to smear (with the collaboration of the FBI) Judi and Earth First! as
violent extremists, and then to falsely link Prop. 130 to EF! in the voters'
minds. The industry would have lost billions of dollars if the initiative had
passed, and the corporations spent some $20 million to defeat it. The article
also reviews the FBI's history of repression of activists for social and
political change and discusses the Bari bombing in light of Operation
THERMCON, the FBI's plan to neutralize EF! by trying to connect its best known
leaders with explosives. Published in the Albion Monitor
May 28, 1999 (posted 6/17/99)
For more information please read:
Click for site index
Secret FBI Political Disruption
Helped Elect Reagan (6/9/02)
The June 9, 2002 Sunday San Francisco Chronicle contains a
blockbuster special report titled The Campus Files - Reagan, Hoover and
the UC Red Scare. The report fills an entire section of the
newspaper, where the blurb says: "Secret FBI files show how the bureau's
covert campaign to disrupt the Free Speech Movement and topple UC president
Clark Kerr helped launch the political career of an actor named Ronald
Judge Claudia Wilken -- then a federal magistrate but later presiding
over the Bari vs. FBI trial -- played a key role in the story when she ruled
against the FBI and made them un-redact hundreds of pages of FBI files that
had been provided to Chronicle writer Seth Rosenfeld, who fought a 17-year
legal battle under FOIA to force the FBI to turn over more than 200,000 pages
The whole Chronicle special report is available on the web
Highly recommended! But don't go away yet; there's
lots of good stuff to read here too.
Now! features COINTELPRO documentary
The June 5, 2002 program focuses on the history of the FBI and COINTELPRO. You
can listen to the entire 1-hr. program via Real Audio. Includes part of the 1976
Pacifica radio documentary "Me and My Shadow," with interviews of
former FBI informers and agent provocateurs. David Sannes was an FBI
informer/provocateur in Seattle who quit when he learned the FBI planned to have
an activist die in a booby trap bomb explosion and then blame him for the
bomb. (posted 6/5/02)
The June 6, 2002 program includes more of the "Me
and My Shadow" documentary about COINTELPRO (posted
Photo © 1991 Evan Johnson
I was attracted to Earth First! because they were the only ones
willing to put their bodies in front of the bulldozers and the chainsaws to save
the trees. They were also funny, irreverent, and they played music. But it was
the philosophy of Earth First! that ultimately won me over. This philosophy,
known as biocentrism or deep ecology, states that the Earth is not just here for
human consumption. All species have a right to exist for their own sake, and
humans must learn to live in balance with the needs of nature, instead of trying
to mold nature to fit the wants of humans.
Judi Bari, Ms. Magazine 1992
Letter to Editor - S. F. Chronicle
- March 11, 1997
Judi Bari's life has ended much too soon. Seeing her work
evolve over the years brought me continued hope and inspiration. Margaret
Mead once wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed
citizens can change the world, it's the only thing that ever does.” Judi's
small stature belied her powers of influence, a bear in the forest confident
and strong. Consistently an ardent defender of all remaining old-growth
redwoods, Judi’s mantra remains the heart of the current Headwaters debate.
Headwaters is a battle we can not afford to lose, if we let those who are
intent upon felling the remaining unprotected redwood groves, the movement
will have lost a historic opportunity to disable the forces threatening
our natural heritage.
The wilderness advocates, local community activists and
labor forces who embraced Judi's call to action were moved by her disdain
for senseless destruction. These sometime disparate constituencies have
greatly aided our efforts, without compromising our goals. We must continue
to strengthen those alliances and demand an unconditional sanctuary for
all the remaining old-growth redwood forest ecosystems.
Life on Earth is a precious and tenuous experience and
times like these remind us of the importance to remain committed to that
which is most meaningful in our lives. Judi always projected an unwavering
commitment to her values, and her continued urgings to affect apathy into
action. We will miss her commitment and compassion, her strength, courage
and conviction. We can honor hers by sharing it.
(David Brower died Nov. 5, 2000, after a long and distinguished life as one of
America's foremost environmental leaders. )
Over the years we have been warned about the danger
of subversive organizations that would threaten our liberties, subvert
our system, would encourage its members to take further illegal action
to advance their views, organizations that would incite and promote violence,
pitting one American group against another... There is an organization
that does fit those descriptions, and it is the organization, the leadership
of which has been most constant in its warning to us to be on guard against
such harm. The [FBI] did all of those things.
Senator Philip A. Hart
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities and
the Rights of Americans, 1975
About Redwood Justice Fund and Redwood Summer Justice Project
Judi Bari founded the nonprofit Redwood Justice Fund
and its Redwood Summer Justice Project in 1991 to organize political
and financial support for her lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police, which
was finally won in 2002 and ultimately resolved in 2004. RSJP maintains this website
as a resource for information about Judi Bari and an archive of her writings and
For more information click here.
Please consider a donation
to support the development and maintenance of this website and the archiving of
materials about or by Judi Bari. We accept secure online donations through Paypal. Just
click on the PayPal logo below.
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