FRIENDS OF JUDI BARI
Revised 3/18/08 (minor)
About Friends of Judi Bari
We are a group of friends of the late Judi Bari, the gifted environmental and labor organizer and forest defender. We have joined together as a group to defend Judi and her legacy from attacks by Big Timber, the FBI, the right-wing and their hired character assassins.
About Judi Bari
Judi Bari was a radical environmental leader, a feminist, a mother and a staunch advocate of nonviolence. She was nearly killed when a motion-triggered bomb exploded under the drivers seat of her car as she drove through Oakland, California, in 1990. Her passenger, fellow Earth First! organizer Darryl Cherney, received lesser injuries. They were on an organizing tour for Redwood Summer, a campaign of nonviolent protests against corporate clearcut logging of the redwood forests. Instead of investigating the bombing as an attempt to kill Judi, who had received numerous death threats from logging industry supporters, the FBI and Oakland Police immediately tried to frame the victims as terrorists injured by the accidental explosion of a bomb they were transporting. For nearly two months, the authorities kept a media drumbeat of false accusations going with claims of accumulating evidence. But when it came time to present evidence in court and file charges, the DA announced he would not file any charges at all against Judi or Darryl, citing lack of evidence. Judi and Darryl sued the FBI and OPD for trying to frame them for political reasons, and they were exonerated by a jury verdict in 2002, after 12 years of litigation.
But Judi didn't live to see her victory. When she died of cancer in 1997, over 1000 people came to her memorial in Willits, California, the small Mendocino County town where she had lived. Though she never fully recovered from her injuries, Judi had kept right on organizing in defense of the redwoods, and the timber workers as well. By 1992 she was a main organizer of a two month nonviolent protest trying to preserve an old-growth redwood stand at Enchanted Meadow, along the Albion River in Mendocino County. With Judi's help, neighbors of the logging were able to interfere with operations and slow them down until a court injunction halted the logging. From 1995 until her death in 1997 Judi was one of the principal organizers of efforts to save the now-famous Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County.
Judi's friends don't consider her a flawless saint as certain critics now charge. She was human like the rest of us, but she was also a hero and an inspirational figure to the environmental, feminist and labor movements because of her courage, eloquence, intelligence and sharp wit.
About Judi's enemies and their attacks
Needless to say, the timber corporations didn't like Judi — she was their most effective and outspoken opponent, and she had received several death threats from timber supporters in advance of the bombing. Although Judi won vindication in the case of the FBI repression against her, she had other enemies. Some of them have been part of a decade-long, ongoing campaign to defame and discredit Judi. This ugly campaign of disinformation against Judi and her supporters partly surfaced in February 1999, two years after her death, in a nutty UFO enthusiast publication called Flatland Magazine. The magazine is actually the sporadically published catalog of a mail-order seller of lunatic fringe books. Despite an ardent publicity campaign that included a weekly newspaper flogging it for the rest of 1999 and much of 2000, and road show appearances around Northern California by the newspaper's former editor, Bruce Anderson, the effort eventually died out for lack of interest, not to mention a lack of credibility. The central thesis of this story was the accusation — based on nothing more substantial than rumor, gossip, speculation and innuendo — that Judi may have been bombed for personal reasons by someone close to her, not by some hit man for Big Timber for her effective opposition to the liquidation logging of the redwood forests. No law enforcement agency or official has expressed any interest in this baseless accusation, and for a while it seemed it had finally died a richly deserved death.
The latest attack on Judi is a right-wing funded smear book titled The Secret Wars of Judi Bari: A Car Bomb, The Fight For The Redwoods, and the Death of Earth First! It's a false biography written for hire by character assassin Kate Coleman and published by Encounter Books, a nonprofit, grant-funded arm of the ultra-right-wing Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. Encounter specializes in publishing books which target the progressive heroes and ideals of the left, and promote the ideology and propaganda of right wing neocons. Coleman's book is a direct descendant of the 1999 Flatland-Bruce Anderson campaign which openly attempted to undercut public support for Judi's lawsuit against the FBI and OPD.
Coleman got her book contract on the basis of a Bari-bashing article titled "The Ghost of Judi Bari" that she wrote for Anderson's paper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, published in the Dec. 29, 1999 issue. She got the contract with the help of neocon pundit David Horowitz, who took her article to his longtime collaborator and co-author, Encounter Books publisher Peter Collier. Horowitz is a straight-ahead, neocon right-winger. In a current fundraising pitch in his own Front Page Magazine, Horowitz says his mission is "exposing the left ... to ensure that mainstream Americans learn about the influence of these radicals, who they are, what their agenda is and how they're going about subverting our democratic process."
The neocons have launched this posthumous attack on Judi because she was an effective organizer against the powerful timber corporations, and became a hero and inspiration to many. They want to discredit her and Earth First!, so they recruited Kate Coleman and paid her to write a smear book.
Several friends of Judi Bari have worked to analyze and rebut Coleman's poorly-written, error-riddled hatchet-job. You can read more about it at www.colemanhoax.info, including a page-by-page catalog of 351 lies and errors in less than 211 pages of text, and a special "Instant Proof" section that provides documentary proof of the falsity of some of Coleman's key allegations and assertions.
Early in 2006, Peter Collier left Encounter Books and is now Chief Operating Officer of the "David Horowitz Freedom Center." If there is any doubt about how blatantly right-wing Horowitz and Collier are, look at their online publication Frontpage Magazine at www.frontpagemag.com
- N.Y. Times 1.28.05 - Book on Environmentalist Creates a Storm gets it partly right, but the Fort Bragg librarian is delusional to describe FOJB members as "bookburners" when in fact we were polite and addressed specific falsehoods in Coleman's book, taking up about 3 minutes of the 55 minute program. We did not halt the event or shut it down. We have a video as proof. The story highlights the fact that the publisher is trying to create controversy to publicize the book. It also reports Coleman admits the book contains errors and includes the URL of www.colemanhoax.info .
- S.F. Chronicle 2.1.05 - Is the biographer of activist Judi Bari a tool of the right -- or just a skeptical liberal?- by Edward Guthmann, Chronicle Staff Writer "Kate Coleman knew she'd be opening a can of worms when she wrote a biography of environmental activist Judi Bari, but she didn't know how bad it could get." Not bad for the mainsteam media. Follow the link at the end of the article to the Chronicle website for a very nice photo of Judi at home.
- S.R. Press Democrat 2.7.05 - Another Bari investigation falls short - Columnist Chris Coursey writes: "The new book about Judi Bari, the iconic North Coast timber activist who survived a 1990 car bombing and died of breast cancer in 1997, is drawing a lot of attention. Bari's life makes a fascinating story, and someday it will make a fascinating book. "The Secret Wars of Judi Bari," unfortunately, is not that book.
- Kelpie Wilson - Judi Bari Survives Character Assassination - t r u t h o u t - Jan. 19, 2005
- Mark Hertsgaard - Too many rumors, too few facts to examine eco-activism case - Los Angeles Times - Jan. 25, 2005
- Sara Peyton - A skewed biography of the late activist Judi Bari - Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Jan. 30, 2005
- Chris Coursey - Another Bari investigation falls short - S.R. Press Democrat - Feb. 7, 2005 (same article as listed under News Coverage above).
- Bill Berkowitz - Mangled History: Kate Coleman and Encounter Books' not so secret take down of Judi Bari, Earth First!, and the 'dead-enders' of the environmental movement - MediaTransparency - Feb. 17, 2005
- Jessica Stein - Judi Bari: Don't Believe the Hype! - World War 4 Report - March 2005 - Kate Coleman's much-awaited new biography of longtime environmental activist Judi Bari ... unfortunately contains far more falsehood than fact, more slander than scholarship, and overall blatant revisionism rather than much real research.
Letters to Editors
- Coleman's Myriad Errors - FOJB Letter to SR Press Democrat - Feb. 2, 2005
- In Defense of Activist Judi Bari - FOJB Letter to SF Chronicle Datebook - Feb. 4, 2005
- Letters to East Bay Express from Karen Pickett and Kay Rudin - Feb. 9, 2005
Press Releases - from Friends of Judi Bari
- Jan. 5-6, 2005 - Book Attacking Judi Bari Sparks Quick Internet Rebuttal
- Jan. 21, 2005 - Book Store Cancels Coleman Appearance; Error count hits 351; Julia "Butterfly" Hill rebuts falsehood against her in Coleman's book
- Jan. 25, 2005 - Estate of Judi Bari Asks Book Withdrawal; LA Times Reviewer Slams Book; FOJB Offers Documentation of Key Points
Handouts to read, print and distribute
These are handouts that fit on both sides of a sheet of standard letter size paper. You can print them out and assemble them in sets to be distributed at Coleman's book readings, posted on bulletin boards, or whatever other creative way you can think of to distribute them effectively. (Note: For the HTML web pages you may need to adjust text size to print correctly on two pages — use print preview to check before printing. The files marked PDF are sized correctly — you need Acrobat Reader to view and print them. It's a free download from www.adobe.com)
- The Secret Agenda of Author Kate Coleman - her six biggest errors - Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (BACH) - 2 pages (HTML)
- Kelpie Wilson - Judi Bari Survives Character Assassination - truthout.org Jan. 19,2005 - excellent writing! - 2 pages (PDF)
- Mark Hertsgaard - Too many rumors, too few facts to examine eco-activism case - Los Angeles Times - Jan. 25, 2005 - 2 pages (HTML)
- colemanhoax.info two page printout - 2 pages (PDF)
- Friends of Judi Bari Bulletin for Jan. 23,2005 - 2 pages (PDF)
External Links (These open in a new browser window)
For more readings about the Coleman book and its right-wing sponsorship see the links below:
- A site with specific rebuttals to Coleman's book and a catalog of 351 (and counting) factual errors in it, including documentary proofs in the Instant Proof feature:
- An article in The Nation magazine about right-wing book publishing, specifically discussing Encounter Books and the Bradley Foundation which funds it:
- The Encounter Books website, so people can judge for themselves what kind of books they publish: www.encounterbooks.com
- A list of Kate Coleman's contributions (and other pages mentioning her) in David Horowitz's FrontPage magazine:
- The FrontPage magazine website:
where the front page recently included this fundraising pitch from David Horowitz:
- "We have run article after article on our web magazine, FrontPageMag, exposing the left, and now I'm asking for your help to continue this effort so that we can continue to ensure that mainstream Americans learn about the influence of these radicals, who they are, what their agenda is and how they're going about subverting our democratic process. "
- The Bradley Foundation, article in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
- The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a large and influential right-wing foundation with about half a billion US dollars in assets. According to the Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report, it was giving away more than $30 million per year. The Foundation has financed efforts to support welfare reform, to promote school vouchers, to deregulate business, and to privatize government services.
- (There's much, much more in this article; definitely worth a visit to see the league we're playing in here.)
- The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc., a lengthy and detailed report by Media Transparency
- With over $700 million in assets (down to $489 million in 2002), the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the country's largest and most influential right-wing foundation. As of the end of 1998, it was giving away more than $30 million a year [The Bradley Foundation 1998 Annual Report].
- Bradley is certainly not the only conservative foundation promoting right-wing causes. It works in concert with a number of others to develop, maintain and promote a right-wing intelligencia that can play a major role in the manipulation of public opinion and the formulation of public policy. In fact, the Olin, Sarah Scaife, Smith Richardson and Bradley foundations are often called the "Four Sisters" for their tendency to fund similar conservative projects, publications and institutions. But Bradley, with the largest assets of the conservative foundations, with its national connections and a sharply focused political agenda, plays a leading role in the conservative movement.
- Media Transparency's Profile of Encounter Books publisher Peter Collier linking him to David Horowitz as co-founder of the right-wing Center for the Study of Popular Culture and co-publisher of Heterodoxy, which published Kate Coleman's articles attacking the Black Panther Party. You will also find a link to details of the exclusively right-wing grant funding of Collier's Encounter for Culture and Education, which operates Encounter Books.
- Links to about 166 Web pages mentioning both "Bradley Foundation" and "Encounter Books" Discover for yourself the right-wing grant funding that supports the non-profit publisher of stealth conservative propaganda:
Click to search Google
More about Judi Bari and the bombing
- The official Judi Bari website featuring Judi's own writings, articles about her, photos, audio files, and reports and legal documents from her 12-year lawsuit against the FBI and OPD, which resulted in a record-breaking $4.4 million jury verdict against the FBI and OPD in June 2002:
- The Judi Bari Bombing Revisited: Big Timber, Public Relations and the FBI - A review and analysis examining the evidence in the Judi Bari bombing and suggesting that the bombing may have been a professional contract hit by agents of the logging corporations. The corporations - Pacific Lumber/Maxxam, Louisiana Pacific, Georgia Pacific, and Simpson Timber - had a multi-billion dollar motive to defeat Prop. 130, the Forests Forever initiative on the November 1990 state ballot. They did in fact use the framing of Judi Bari and Earth First! by the FBI in their anti-Prop. 130 campaign, and they beat the once overwhelmingly supported initiative by a narrow margin. Published in May 1999 by the Albion Monitor:
Join the FOJB email bulletin list - stay informed!
To receive email bulletins from FOJB please join our email list by sending an email request to info at fojb.org (replace " at " with @) and put JOIN in the subject line. It's not a discussion list, so there are only a few messages a week at most (and lately only a message or two a month) so it won't clog your inbox. It's operated by humans, not robots.
FOJB email list introductory message
Introducing New Judi Bari Support Group and List - Jan. 5, 2005
For more information:
Email info (at) fojb.org (change it to standard email address format)
Or send postal mail to FOJB, PO Box 943, Mendocino CA 95460