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Earth First!Activists Win Civil Suit Against FBI and Oakland Police Dept for...

...False Charges That Bombing Victims Were 'Terrorists'. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus Interviews Alicia Littletree of the Redwood Summer Justice Project.
Earth First! Activists Win Civil Suit Against FBI and Oakland Police Dept for False Charges That Bombing Victims Were 'Terrorists'

Interview by Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus

The progressive community won a landmark victory in a California court last week when two Earth First! activists won a multi-million dollar civil suit against the Oakland Police Dept. and the FBI. In the spring of 1990, Earth Firsters Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were organizing for a massive non-violent protest against clearcutting in the old- growth redwood forests of California. When a bomb exploded in their car, severely wounding Bari, Oakland police and the FBI arrested the pair and charged them with knowingly transporting the bomb. After a weeks-long smear campaign, charges were dropped for lack of evidence. Bari and Cherney then sued the Oakland police and FBI, charging them with violating their right to free speech.

On June 11th, following a six-week civil trial and three weeks of jury deliberations, the plaintiffs -- Cherney and the estate of Judi Bari, who died of breast cancer in 1997 - - were awarded a $4.4 million dollar judgment against six members of the Oakland police and FBI. In the 12 years between the bomb blast and the court victory, the activists' legal team, operating as the Redwood Summer Justice Project, aggressively pursued the case, conducting hundreds of depositions and fending off two attempts to have the charges dropped.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Alicia Littletree, who worked as a paralegal on the case for nine years. She discusses the trial in the context of current political events and the plaintiff's difficult decision to request a six-month postponement of the trial after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Contact the Redwood Summer Justice Project by calling (707) 887-0262 or visit their Web site at
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