Justice for Judi Bari!
Mendocino Environmental Center <firstname.lastname@example.org>
106 W. Standley St. Ukiah, CA 95482 (707)468-1660
July 15, 1998
Join the Demand for Trial Now
On May 24, 1990, a motion-triggered pipe bomb exploded beneath environmental/labor activist Judi Bari's car seat as she and Darryl Cherney drove through Oakland, California, on an organizing tour for Earth First! Redwood Summer. Today, over eight years later, the people who placed the bomb are still walking the streets.
The would-be assassins were allowed to slip away with the approval of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oakland Police Department, who have never investigated the politically-motivated attack. Instead, they used the bombing as an excuse to vilify and collect information about environmental activists, falsely arresting Judi and Darryl within hours of the blast on charges of transporting explosives.
In 1991, Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney filed a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against the FBI and OPD, charging them with false arrest, illegal search and seizure, and conspiracy to violate the activists' civil rights. They claim that the FBI used the tactics of their notorius Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) to smear Judi and Darryl as bombers in an attempt to "neutralize" the Earth First! movement.
The Civil lawsuit has held up to numerous attempts by the defendants to have it dismissed, based on the strength of the evidence collected so far. It has unearthed thousands of pages of FBI and Police documents that show clearly that the government lied and knew they were lying when they arrested Judi and Darryl for bombing themselves.
On March 2, 1997, Judi Bari died of metastatic breast cancer. The absence of her powerful voice to publicize the lawsuit this last year has served to underscore what Judi knew all along: that this case is our case. It is about the rights of all progressive activists to effectively organize for social change without a constant covert assault by the FBI. It is up to us to fill the silence left by Judi's untimely passing with a resounding united call for justice!
The Redwood Summer Justice Project, made up of friends and comrades of Judi's who have been working on the case with her for years, will take the bombing case to trial. The legal team has persevered in the face of a relentless strategy of delay by the FBI and OPD. Recently, Judge Claudia Wilken granted our motion to certify that the Government and Police do not have immunity from prosecution. This victory should have cleared the way to trial, except the Oakland Police snared the case once again by filing a frivolous appeal that could hold things up for yet another 12-14 more months. Now the FBI is refusing to move forward with discovery until the Oakland appeal is resolved.
This is why we need your help. The bombing case gives us an unprecedented opportunity to take the FBI to task for COINTELPRO activities and expose their covert reign of terror against activists and organizations that has undermined progressive movements in the U.S. and elsewhere for decades. But if we want a trial, we're going to have to demand it!
We will be happy to provide copies of RSJP's bombing case leaflets should you want to distribute them to your members or pass them on to other interested groups and individuals. Also, please sign on to the attached statement calling for a trial NOW, and an end to FBI COINTELPRO once and for all. If you know of additional groups and individuals who should receive a packet about the bombing and COINTELPRO, please send us their names and numbers.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for July 31, 1998, at 1:30 PM, before Judge Claudia Wilken at the Oakland Federal Courthouse (1301 Clay Street, downtown Oakland).
Any way you can help publicize this date and mobilize people to attend will be invaluable. We must show up in full force to let the court know that we won't accept any more delays! Make sure to check with the Mendocino Environmental Center at (707)468-1660 before you leave to confirm. Thank you again for your support.
Justice for Judi Bari!
106 W. Standley St.
Ukiah, CA 95482
STATEMENT DEMANDING A TRIAL IN THE EARTH FIRST! BOMBING CASE:
We, the undersigned, add our names to the long and diverse list of groups and individuals who demand justice for Judi Bari and a full jury trial in her and Darryl Cherney's civil rights lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police. In 1990, Earth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were the targets of not only a brutal car bombing assassination attempt, but a vicious smear campaign by the FBI and Oakland Police. These agencies used the bombing as an excuse to vilify Earth First!, a nonviolent radical environmental movement, as terrorists. The FBI has never looked for the real bomber, and the person or persons who tried to kill Judi Bari are still at large.
This case of outrageous police misconduct must be brought to trial without delay. We will not accept further FBI and OPD stall tactics, and we fully expect the court to dismiss any and all frivolous motions and groundless appeals aimed at dragging out the case. We insist that the FBI agents and Oakland Police officers involved in the bombing case be brought to the witness stand to answer for their conduct. We recognize the far reaching implications this trial could have for activists from all struggles who work to achieve social change in the U.S.
Ultimately, we demand an immediate end to the use of COINTELPRO-style tactics by the FBI to disrupt and "neutralize" progressive organizations working for social change.
(Your or your group's name here)
If you or your group would like to sign on, please contact us at the address above with your name, address, and other contact info.