It's been a long time coming - Bari and Cherney vs FBI trial starts
heather at teknopunx.co.uk
Wed Apr 10 11:12:37 BST 2002
Sent: Wednesday, April 10, 2002 5:56 AM
Subject: [v-nv-mobilize] It's been a long time coming - Bari and Cherney vs FBI trial starts
SO far this is being ignored by Court TV, Greta on Fox, CNN, CBS, to name a
MSNBC has a something..... http://www.msnbc.com/local/srpd/m169035.asp
Published on Tuesday, April 9, 2002 in the lndependent/UK
Green Campaigners Accuse FBI of Covering Car Bomber's Tracks
by Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
One of the most bizarre episodes in the history of American
environmentalism came to court yesterday, with members of the tree
preservation group Earth First! squaring up to the Federal Bureau of
Investigation over a 1990 car bombing in which two activists were blown up,
only to be accused of planting the bomb themselves.
Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari were driving through Oakland, near San
Francisco, during a busy summer of opposition to redwood logging in
northern California when a nail bomb concealed under the driver's seat
exploded. Mr Cherney received only minor injuries, but Ms Bari suffered a
crushed pelvis, a dislocated back and extensive nerve damage that paralyzed
her right foot and permanently numbed her sexual organs.
The FBI, with the Oakland police, quickly accused the pair of making the
bomb themselves and searched their houses for further evidence. Although
the case against them fell apart in a few days - it became clear that the
bomb was not, as initially suspected, sitting on the back seat in plain
view - the investigation continued for three years, casting a cloud of
suspicion over the victims of the bombing and the environmentalist movement
as a whole.
Although Earth First! has resorted to sabotage such as driving spikes into
tree trunks to block the loggers' chainsaws, it has always espoused a
strict philosophy of non-violence towards people.
Over time, Mr Cherney and Ms Bari became more vocal in accusing the
authorities of violating their civil rights and failing to investigate
other leads in the crime.
That accusation is at the heart of the current lawsuit, which Mr Cherney is
fighting alongside Ms Bari's estate - she died of cancer in 1997 and made
her fellow victim promise not to let the matter drop.
"Someone almost killed me and ruined my life, and they think I should be
satisfied with the finding I didn't bomb myself," an angry Ms Bari said in
A key part of the case will hinge on a letter sent to a local newspaper six
days after the bombing, in which someone calling himself "the Lord's
avenger" took responsibility for the bombing and included a number of key
details about it. The possibility that a right-wing religious group was
involved was never followed up, however. Mr Cherney and Ms Bari are the
only suspects the authorities have ever considered.
Last week, Mr Cherney told reporters: "The FBI helped to cover the bomber's
tracks. Every day I live with the knowledge that no one has ever seriously
tried to arrest the person responsible for a bomb that could have killed me."
The FBI and police deny any wrongdoing. The case, being heard in Oakland,
is expected to last six weeks.
© 2002 lndependent Digital (UK) Ltd
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