Judi Bari in mural by Susan Greene
Judy & timberworkers (1 MB mp3)
From Freedom Archives audio archives
Photo: Scott Braley

Judi Bari

Charismatic environmental and social justice leader Judi Bari was born November 7, 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland. Judi was a fighter and organizer for many social and environmental justice causes. The common denominator was her indignation over injustice, whether in the form of war, racism, sexism, political repression, economic exploitation, or the unnecessary destruction of ecosystems.

Judi was a gifted and inspiring speaker who was widely regarded as the principal leader of the Earth First! movement in Northern California. She led Earth First! in her region to embrace the use of nonviolent direct action and to renounce the use of tree-spiking, or any other tactic that could lead to injuries to timber and mill workers. Coming from a labor organizing background, she was quick to point out that it was not the workers but the giant corporations who should be the target of environmental reformers.

Her name was etched into the nation's consciousness in 1990 when she was bombed in Oakland, California while organizing for that year's Redwood Summer logging protests. She was nearly killed when a powerful motion-triggered bomb exploded under her driver's seat, shattering her pelvis and leaving her disabled and in pain for the rest of her life.

Police and the FBI accused her of knowingly transporting the bomb, but no charges were ever filed in court due to lack of any evidence against her. Still moving forward in federal court is the lawsuit she filed in 1991 against the FBI and Oakland police. She sued them for trying to frame her as a terrorist in order to discredit her and Earth First! in the public's mind, for fabricating evidence, and for failing to even look for the real bombers.

Judy died March 2, 1997 peacefully at home, near Willits, California of breast cancer.

Judi Bari photo

Photo credit: www.judybari.org

More: Judi Bari's website