Judi Bariwas one of the most inspirational rabble-rousers in the history of the environmental movement. Alternative Tentacles Records, in conjunction with Environmentally Sound Promotions has released an album of Judi’s greatest moments, entitledWho BombedJudi Bari? Twenty-three selections of her greatest speeches, plus assorted news clips and songs comprise this 72 minute treasure-trove of cutting edge wisdom and wit. This album brings to life the tragic and the hilarious battles waged in the California Redwoods. The name of the cuts are a clue to the album’s lively tone: “The FBI Stole My Fiddle,” “Logging to Infinity,” “Bomb School,” “Dances With FBI Agents,” and “Not a Carload of Nuns,” are titles you might expect on aGeorge Carlinalbum. That’s because Judi was a genius with a wicked sense of humor.
LOGGING WARS: The album’s release was timed to help promote the 3rd annual Headwaters Forest Rally in Carlotta, CA, on Sunday, September 14th, 1996. Judi was the primary organizer of this rally and many others before she died from breast cancer, leaving behind two small children. The rally was dedicated to Judi, and it was one of her last wishes to get 10,000 people to attend. Before she died, Jello Biafra, owner of Alternative Tentacles, requested her permission to issue an album of her speeches. Judi, a friend of Jello’s, agreed. Her fellow organizer, Darryl Cherney, co-produced the album.
WHO IS JUDI BARI?: Judi didn’t preach from the ivory tower of intellectualism; she talked the language of the streets and the working class from which she came. She blended razor-sharp humor, feisty feminism, labor consciousness, movement history and ecological awareness into a mesmerizing fusion that brought listeners to their feet in standing ovations. She was an East Coast union organizer turned West Coast Earth First! activist, helping put the struggle to preserve Headwaters Forest on the national agenda and drawing thousands to peaceful mass rallies from 1988 to 1997. She introduced many to the notion that it was the industry owners and not the workers who were responsible for forest destruction. She built alliances with the loggers and millworkers, helping injured sawmill workers start a labor union at a nearby Georgia Pacific mill.
THE CAR BOMB: Many believe it was the dual threat of organizing for labor and the environment that made her the target of a car bomb that nearly killed her on May 24, 1990. She was organizing for Redwood Summer (modeled after the Mississippi Freedom Summer civil rights drive of the 1960’s), when a car bomb exploded beneath her driver’s seat, causing massive internal injuries that crippled her for life. Miraculously she survived, only to have the FBI attempt to frame her and her companion Darryl Cherney as bomb carriers whose bomb accidentally went off rather than bomb targets. Judi’s last work in her life was to oversee her ongoing civil rights lawsuit against the FBI. Now her friends have taken Judi’s case to trial on behalf of her children and to clear her name. This album has Judi meticulously detailing these events as only she could do.