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Snazzy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-23-04 11:59 PM
Original message
U.S. to Pay Environmental Activists $2M
U.S. to Pay Environmental Activists $2M

Fri Apr 23, 7:26 PM ET
OAKLAND, Calif. - The federal government has agreed to pay $2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by two environmental activists who were arrested and branded eco-terrorists by the FBI 14 years ago.

Darryl Cherney and the estate of the late Judi Bari, who died of cancer in 1997, will divide the settlement and a separate $2 million settlement from the Oakland City Council last year.

The two activists from Earth First! were arrested by the FBI when a pipe bomb exploded in their car in Oakland on May 24, 1990. Bari, who was driving, suffered a crushed pelvis and Cherney was cut.

The two activists later sued the FBI and Oakland police investigators, alleging false arrest, illegal search, slanderous statements and conspiracy. They claimed officials lied to try to make a case and ignored evidence that would have cleared them.

....

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&nci...

Many believed this was a continuation of Cointelpro.

Judi Bari website: http://www.judibari.org/default.html

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DANDI Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Only in America...
...can two idiots who were out to create mayhem have it blow up in their face and then make money off it.
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poppabear36 Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Your Right!
Just look at Bush and Cheney!
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It very well might not have been their bomb
From the article:
"Attorneys for Bari and Cherney said investigators didn't try to probe an anonymous letter sent to The Press Democrat in Santa Rosa shortly after the bombing. The letter detailed the construction and placement of the bomb and included information about a different bombing that damaged a Cloverdale lumber mill the same month.

The writer, claiming to be "the Lord's avenger," said the bomb was retribution for Bari's participation in an abortion rights demonstration."


But we'll never know, will we? Because the FBI and prosecutors didn't do their jobs.
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DANDI Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. So...
...the letter-writer was both an eco-terrorist and a pro-life nut. Busy fellow.
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Nevernose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Not likely, but entirely possible
Look at the early feminists, for example, like Susan B. Anthony (and several others that I could go look up, but I'm entirely too lazy right now). The early feminists were largely against abortion, and very vocal about it.

I find that most people (outside of internet BBS's ;-) ) have views that fall on both sides of the political spectrum, and we (unlike the FBI and District Attorney in this case) shouldn't immediately discount the possibility that people are standing up for their beliefs, rather than towing (toeing? sp?) a party line.

Welcome to DU, DANDI, and I hope that you discover, as I have, that while we Dems/Liberals don't always share the same beliefs, we have room for everyone in our paradigm.
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bedtimeforbonzo Donating Member (344 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. there is that crossover
check out the band 'Earth Crisis'

they hug both trees and fetuses
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:28 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. I think you missed it
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 01:28 AM by sandnsea
The people in the car were Earth Firsters. An abortion rights march wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility in their political adventures.

The letter writer was a pro-life nut who put a bomb in their car.

It may well have been an attempted murder, but because the FBI was so busy trying to pin them with an act of eco-terrorism, they missed the obvious terrorists in our midst. Seems like that's happened before.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Bullshit! Do you work for Pacific Lumber/Maxxam or what?
Environmental activism = terrorism?

Typical right wing bullshit!
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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. In Soviet Russia
The government blows you up and you vanish completely.

No trial, no damages, no publicity.

I'm sure this appeals more to some folks.
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. So you don't know the backstory, eh?
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 01:34 AM by 0rganism
That's okay, you can learn if you want to learn.

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 liquidation logging.

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 with them.

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 perception as violent extremists.

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 innocence,
* conspired to frame and demonize Judi Bari and Earth First! for political reasons,
* spied on nonviolent environmentalists in a phony investigation of the bombing,
* failed to investigate fingerprints and other evidence pointing to the real bombers, and
* covered up their own wrongdoing and obstruction of justice.

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 extremists.

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 charges.

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.

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DANDI Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Why is it
when someone disagrees with someone on this board they are labeled "right wing"? It's childish and reflective of limited thought to imply I might have "kind words" for corporate criminals simply because I don't agree with the methods used to combat them. I'll stack my Democratic credentials up against yours any day my friend. You sound like Bush when you drag out that "either with us or against us" argument, which is no argument at all.
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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. You are the one who called them idiots and.....
implied that they were carrying the bomb to carry our mayhem. You are accusing them of terrorism without knowing shit about it. You are the one who is acting like a right wing nut-job, not me.

I don't think you meant to respond to post #10, but I hope you read it!

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DANDI Donating Member (31 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Well, all you know is what you read in the paper
and we all know the media never lies, right? If you investigated a little further, you'd see these folks had a history of violent acts as a part of their "activism". If you gleefully defend someone like that, then you're the nut-job. Or do you only condone violence when it further your particular political agenda?
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not systems Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:27 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Well I've followed this story for a decade on the local news and...
you are clueless.

What credibility to you bring to your opinion.

They had no "history of violent acts" they also won in
court because a jury found the frame up you defend to
lack the slightest bit of evidence.

Why do you condone state violence against American citizens?

Why do you support state terrorism?

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Webster Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:30 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Ya know, I lived in Humboldt County for 15 years....
The folks in question happen to be friends of mine. I don't need to investigate further. You do!

I found your original post and your later posts to be both inaccurate and insulting. You keep accusing my friends of being violent. Mind providing some evidence of your accusations (other than right-wing bullshit)? You put the word activism in quotes to imply what? That they are really terrorists?

You are out of line pal.

I gleefully defend Darryl and Judy, and I have a pretty good idea of what your political agenda is.

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ldoolin Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:00 AM
Response to Reply #15
23. What violent acts?
Name one.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 02:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. Right-Wing is as Right-Wing does
It's labeled "right wing" when it contains arguments and/or rhetoric that right-wingers frequently use. And they've been very active in the anti-lawsuit movement lately.

The activists sued because there was a large-scale effort made by conservative activists to descredit and intimidate them, that went on BEFORE the explosion.

They won because they had a case ... a good case. And it held up to scrutiny.

Case closed.

--bkl
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:14 AM
Response to Reply #1
19. That's CRAP!!!
It was not their bomb, it was planted on them and meant to kill them both. I knew both of these people and I know that is just a lot of Bull shit that was spread about them. The feds claimed they had bomb-making equipment...yeah like duct tape, who the hell doesn't have duct tape! :argh:
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ldoolin Donating Member (642 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. If you believe that
If you actually believe that Bari and Cherney put the bomb there yourself, I have this wonderful investment I'd like to sell you. I currently have $18 million in a bank in Nigeria, and need your help transferring it to...


Or, in other words, why would the U.S. govt. have settled unless they knew they were going to lose?
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0rganism Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 01:22 AM
Response to Original message
9. Justice deferred...
This case has been a litmus for whether our justice system is capable of rooting out its own corrupt practices. Seems like a long time, but by Jove, the activists won.
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Melsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 03:59 AM
Response to Original message
18. I'm so glad to hear this
I was living in San Francisco when that happened and remember it very well. I'm just sorry Judi Bari did not live to see this.
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Piperay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:20 AM
Response to Original message
20. I'm so glad that they finally got justice
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 04:21 AM by Piperay
and validation that they did not do this to themselves but were victims. I'm just sorry that Judi didn't live long enough to see her name cleared, I'm sure it means a lot though to her family.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 04:29 AM
Response to Original message
21. I agree with Melsky & Piperay. Many of us heard of her struggle long ago.
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 04:31 AM by JudiLyn
I found a photo of her car, really sad:



It's always odd to see the occassional visiting "democrat" savage people of conviction, but most people are not misled about character and courage.
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