This is a newsletter broadcast list for news about the late Judi Bari and her landmark civil rights lawsuit, with Darryl Cherney, against the FBI and Oakland Police. The two environmental leaders were nearly killed on May 24, 1990, when a motion-triggered pipe bomb exploded directly under Judi's driver's seat. The blast maimed Judi, leaving her with severe, crippling injuries and lasting pain for the rest of her life.
Judi and Darryl -- both organizers of Earth First! Redwood Summer -- had received death threats from timber industry supporters in the weeks before the bombing, and reported them to police. But instead of going after the real bomber the Oakland Police, at the instigation of the FBI, falsely arrested Judi and Darryl for transporting the bomb that nearly killed them.
The false charges made national headlines, portraying the two nonviolent political activists and Earth First! as bomb-using terrorists. For nearly two months a media smear was kept alive by dribbled-out claims by OPD and FBI that they had hard evidence connecting the pair to the bomb. After seven weeks of this, the DA refused to file charges, citing lack of evidence. But of course this was reported only by the local press.
Judi and Darryl filed a federal civil rights suit against the FBI and OPD in 1991. Judi died of breast cancer in 1997, but the suit survived and went to trial April 8, 2002. The suit charges false arrest, unlawful search and seizure, and conspiracy to violate Judi and Darryl's First Amendment right to organize nonviolent action in defense of the forests.
In a stunning and unprecedented legal victory, on June 11, 2002, the jury awarded $4.4 million in damages from six former FBI agents and OPD officers. See the Judi Bari website www.judibari.org for more details.
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