Sunday, December 18, 2011

Who Bombed Judi Bari?

Judi Bari was a remarkable woman, a labor organizer and principal organizer of the Earth First! environmentalists.  It's incredible to me that I had never heard of Judi Bari's existence before today, and now she is one of my heros.
The subject of a new documentary film about her life as an activist, she tried to save redwoods from the logging industry, but following weeks of death threats was bombed in her car with another member of EF on May 24, 1990.  Then, prosecutors tried to blame them for staging the incident.  She died of cancer in 1997, five years before their suit against the FBI and Oakland Police was won and awarded $4.4 million, for violations of their right to free speech.
Occupiers should take note of this very calculated law enforcement malfeasance, of which the wiki says:  "Simply, instead of looking for the actual terrorists, they persecuted the victims of that terror because of their political activism."  There is more about this amazing story at the website for the film, which has just been completed.  You can make a small donation because the producers still need funding to promote and distribute the film - I did!  Particularly in these times of increasing civil protest, people need to know the lengths that our government will go to, to silence dissent.  That page is here.

Here's a recent upload of the original recruitment call to the Redwood Summer, which has some pointed criticism of corporate profiteering that should resonate quite well today!


  1. It's an age old is always the leftists protesting against entrenched power who feel the brunt of state repression. Late in the Weimar period in Germany, for example, the German police often took the side of the Nazis against the communists during the street fighting that went on between the two groups even though both parties represented an equal threat to the center/right government.

  2. Well I am getting postcards ready to send from the FEMA camp to my friends and family, "Wish you were here."

  3. Greetings Gail,

    There is a saying that goes something along these lines: "If you don't know where you came from, you'll have no idea where you're at, and you won't know where you're going!"

    I'm astonished you've never heard of Judi Bari until recently. For someone with your grasp of what is happening to be unaware of Bari's case is troubling. I don't mean that to be condescending, honestly. It's additionally troubling in the sense that you offer up in your third paragraph that "people need to know the lengths that our government will go to, to silence dissent."

    Folks need to be advised of this... at this date and time? I know you're right in proffering this but...

    The point I'm making is if you work outdoors on a regular basis and you fail to check the daily forecast, and aren't prepare for inclement weather, why then you deserve to be hit with whatever nature offers up.

    If people are unaware of the lengths to which this government will go to (notice I didn't use the adjective our, or my government -- the u.s. government and its functionaries are wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporations that own them) have no business pretending they have the right to protest.

    There is an easy way to understand all of this. First read article VI of the u.s. constitution, you don't need to bother researching, I'll provide the needed text here: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land... "

    I use Article VI as my guide to understanding what the america is all about -- the u.s. government made 371 treaties with indigenous nations and broke every one of them. So if the supreme law of the land can be broken at will, what does that tell you about all the rest of it? By-the-way the treaty breaking began within the first 125 years of the republic.

    -"This treaty will last as long as the grass grows, the river flows, and the sun shall shine..." I guess that explains the environmental degradation -- they've been trying to justify the treaty abrogations, but I digress.

    Having that understanding, and what followed, not only for the native nations -- the list and lessons are long (Judi Bari is but a small part of the equation) should provide a crystal clear analysis of what you're up against if you want to go toe-to-toe with Sam.

    The ''occupy" activists should reconsider their inane protest "occupations" and deal with the REALITY that they dwell in occupied territory, and that isn't meant as a rhetorical flourish -- armed with that understanding would move them beyond protesting to actually securing truly liberated territories.

    Knowing what happen to Judi Bari, and countless others, ever since they landed at the Plymouth rock will provide you with all you need to know.

  4. Well, Anon, I can't explain why I never heard of her before, other than, we don't have media, we have propaganda, and at the time she was active, the intertubes certainly were not the source of information they have become.

    At that point in time I read the NYTimes daily, and the NYRB, and various magazines. I also didn't realize until recently what the Unabomber actually said in him manifesto - knowing he used bombs, I dismissed him as a kook.

    I think many, many - most - people in this country still cling to the illusion that they have a representative government (all you have to do is ponder the electoral college, the 2 senators per state, the current legislative efforts to disenfranchise voters, and the gerrymandered districts!), and really don't believe the many evil things the US has done, at home and around the world. It's a very unsetting transition to make, to truly understand the wickedness our country remorselessly perpetrates.

    It took me a while to become utterly cynical.

    And I can attest having been in on many discussions that the occupiers are excruciatingly aware of social injustice. Whether that will translate into occupying truly liberated areas remains to be seen.

  5. Gail

    Thanks for this enlightening post. Hurrying off now to the Who Bombed Judi Bari website to make a quick donation (before getting ready to go do another day's work for the machine.)

    PS I think Anon is being unnecessarily harsh. Nobody knows it all -- not even Anon.

  6. Hi gail, this comment doesnt really relate to the story so you don't need to post it under this particular blogpost, but here is another story about trees dying, this time in Ethiopia. They are blaming a myriad of causes, but I wonder how much of it really has to do with unmentioned factors?

  7. I am not amazed any more at the ignorance of the Amerikan sheeple.

    They think that we are all supposed to play by the "rules" when the thugs around us get away with murder, torture, beatings, rape, fabrication of evidence, lies, perjury, threats, intimidation and blackmail.

    We remain a VERY stupid people.

    Most argue that we ought not to "sink to their level", but that is not what we do when we fight back. Just the opposite is true.

    When we fight back, we RISE above our cowardice, apathy, indifference and FEAR and reassert our natural authority and personal responsibility.

    We are NOT operating on their level whatsoever, which is a position of wrong-doing, unaccountability and false authority.

    I did not authorize these thugs to act brutish and violent, and neither did you. Therefore, it is well within our natural rights as responsible humans to revoke their assumed authority by any and all means necessary.

    Doing so is our responsibility.

    We are just as accountable for our inactions as they are accountable for their actions.

    However, only one path is the correct one, and that is the path that embraces truth and life. The path they have taken is death and destruction.

    We may find that we too must resort to these same things in order to restore the life that they have taken.

    But we will not dwell there or remain there, because this is their way, not ours.


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