The 31st anniversary of the dramatic and aggressive bombing of Earth First! organizers Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney is upon us: May 24, 2021. In years past, Judi’s comrades in the Bay Area commemorate that event every year by going to the place where the bomb exploded under Judi’s car seat as she drove through Oakland, to mark the moment, as well as bringing people together for discussions of radical activism and solidarity, and as a memory against forgetting. This year, we can again invite you to join us in person!
(Please observe covid safety protocols including distancing.)
Monday, May 24, 11:30 a.m. (or any time before noon)
in order to mark the moment of the bombing at noon with a circle standing in silence at the site:
Park Blvd at E. 34th St., Oakland
(below Oakland H.S., across from AM/PM store).
Look for our banner.
This is a short and informal mid-day event, as we observe the time and place of that event 31 years ago, an event that reflects the squashing of radical thought and action in the U.S. It is a speak-out. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous campaigns against corporate pipelines on Native land, with Black Lives Matter and with struggles everywhere for the earth and for the rights of all species, humans and non-humans alike. Join us for an hour or so and bring your voice, your poetry, your music, your passionate spirit, signs and banners if you can.
Please tune in to KPFA’s special broadcast on Judi and the bombing on Terra Verde, Friday 2-3 pm with guests Alicia Littletree, Darryl Cherney and Karen Pickett. 94.1 fm.
Judi, who died in 1997, was ahead of her time politically, besides being one of Earth First!’s most effective organizers, a musician, labor organizer and mother of two daughters.
The capsule history: On May 24, 1990, a pipe bomb planted in the car of Earth First! activist Judi Bari exploded, sending her and fellow activist Darryl Cherney to the hospital in Oakland and nearly killing Judi, since the bomb was hidden directly under her driver’s seat. Judi and Darryl were on their way to an organizing event for Earth First! “Redwood Summer”, a summer of civil disobedience in Northern California to confront liquidation logging. That explosion, and the subsequent attack on Earth First! as well as Judi and Darryl, by the FBI and Oakland police, would forever change the face of forest activism in the redwoods and elsewhere.
The bomber was never found, partly because the FBI never conducted a serious investigation, choosing instead to blame and harass Earth First! activists, attempting to frame Bari and Cherney for bombing themselves. A lawsuit filed by Judi and Darryl against the FBI and OPD for violation of Constitutional rights was ultimately successful in 2002, vindicating Darryl and Judi, but coming five years after Judi’s untimely death from breast cancer at the age of 47.
Redwood Summer was a mass mobilization of students and others who came from across the U.S. to protest the deforestation of the redwood region in Northern California, being decimated by the corporate chain saw. It was modeled after civil rights mobilizations in the south in the 1960s. The summer of civil disobedience and protest in the forests did go on, in spite of the monumental disruption caused by the bombing, attempts to frame and tear apart EF!, and changed the face of direct action organizing at the time. (above: photo credit: Evan Johnson)
Check out the feature-length film, “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” on YouTube. It tells the story of the bombing, Redwood Summer, Earth First! and much more. Highly recommended.
Judi’s essay “Revolutionary Ecology,” where she discusses biocentrism in the context of radical social change thinking (e.g., Biocentrism Contradicts Capitalism, Biocentrism Contradicts Communism, and Biocentrism Contradicts Patriarchy), can be found in its entirety at the link www.judibari.org/revolutionary-ecology.html.
May 2020 Judi Bari Day
photo by D.Solnit
- Bay Area issues
- Climate and forests
- fact sheets
- Green Diamond
- Headwaters Forest
- Humboldt Redwood Co. (HRC)
- Indigenous People and Land
- Jackson Demonstration State Forest
- Judi Bari
- Mattole Forests
- Mendocino Redwood Co. (MRC)
- Other North Coast Forests
- Pacific Lumber
- Pacific Lumber Bankruptcy
- Richardson Grove
- Save the Oaks Campaign
- Smith River/Hwy 199 expansion
- Willits Caltrans Bypass