Earth Firster! Judi Bari Avenged at Last
After more than 10 years of persistence, Earth First! activists
Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney squashed the FBI and Oakland police
department in the courtroom, as jurors found six agents and
officers guilty of framing the two and violating their civil
rights. Cherney told Josh Richman in High Country
News that this decision may hopefully 'discourage the FBI
from clear-cutting the Constitution while fighting the current war
In May of 1990 Bari and Cherney were in Oakland with Earth First!, organizing protests against the logging industry, when a pipe bomb exploded in their car, injuring both. Oakland police arrested them only hours after, claiming that the bomb belonged to the 'eco-terrorists.' Two months later, all charges were dropped. Bari and Cherney saw the bomb-planting and subsequent public defamation as a conspiracy to oppress them and Earth First!, a notoriously disobedient organization. They claimed that their First and Fourth Amendment rights were stolen, and after an 11-year legal struggle and six weeks on trial, the activists finally prevailed.
Sadly, Bari died of cancer in 1997 and was unable to receive justice. But, Cherney already plans to appeal, wishing to bring other defendants who were dismissed years ago into the courtroom.