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In ruling, an echo of the Judi Bari case

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

image A federal magistrate in San Francisco has breathed new life into a fabled two-decades-old crime probe that has long had supporters of the late Earth First organizer and environmental activist Judi Bari clamoring for justice. It was in May, 1990 that a pipe bomb ripped through image Bari’s white Subaru station wagon as she and fellow activist James Cherney were driving in Oakland on their way to a so-called “Redwoods summer” anti-logging protest they’d helped organize in Santa Cruz. Bari was severely injured.

The case quickly inflamed the environmental movement after Oakland police accused the duo of carrying the bomb. Bari and Cherney sued the police and FBI and were later awarded a $4.4 million judgment. Bari died of cancer in 1997.

But the crime was never solved. And last year after the FBI announced plans to destroy the evidence in the case, Cherney asked a judge to prevent it. On Monday, U. S. Magistrate James Larson sided with him and ordered the FBI to turn over bomb fragments, a hand-lettered sign, duct tape and other items to an independent party for testing. Oakland Tribune has more.

Top Image: Oakland Police photo of Judi Bari’s station wagon after the May 24, 1990 pipe bomb explosion. Supporters have long maintained it shows the bomb exploded under the driver’s seat, not in the back seat as police and the FBI concluded.

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