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May 24: Earth First!

lawrencebush
May 31, 2013

200px-JudiBariEarth First! activists Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were victims of a pipe bomb placed in their car on this date in 1990 in Oakland, California. The two were accused by the FBI of carrying the bomb for terrorism; Bari was arrested while still in critical condition in the hospital. The case was never prosecuted, however, and never solved; one leading theory is that Bari's pro-choice activism had provoked "pro-life" fanatics to try to kill her. Bari, the daughter of a Jewish mathematician mother and an Italian father, was a key organizer of Earth First!'s Redwood Summer, a campaign to prevent the destruction of old-growth Redwood forests by Charles Hurwitz's Pacific Lumber Company. She played the violin and sang inflammatory political songs by Cherney, including "Spike a Tree for Jesus." Although Bari disavowed dangerous tactics such as tree spiking, and sought to bring environmentalists and timber workers together in common cause, the media portrayed her as a saboteur. She died of cancer in 1997, but posthumously won (with Cherney) a $4 million judgment in a civil suit against police officers and FBI agents involved in her case. Cherney, a Jewish-born pagan, now heads a band called the Chernobles. He was the lead media provocateur for Earth First! For an interesting magazine profile of him, click here. To see the Redwood Summer recruitment video, see below.

"We did it with the intention of pushing their buttons, to counter their . . . shocking tactics, by giving them a taste of their own medicine." —Judi Bari

JEWDAYO ROCKS! Bob Dylan was born Robert Zimmerman on this date in 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota. To see him as a folkie in 1963, look below. To see him in more recent years in a nicely shot amateur video, look below that.