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Darryl Cherney's Disturbing Priorities
$50,000 to Sell Out the Movement?

and why won't the Bari legal team show EF! the FBI documents?


Letter From: Andy Caffrey, Fourteen-year Veteran Headwaters Forest Organizer
To: Earth First! activists; Headwaters Forest activists and contributors; and supporters of the effort to find the bomber of Judi Bari

Date: May 24, 2000

This is a big deal to me. I have the Redwood Summer Justice Project's $50 compilation of documents pertaining to the bombing and the lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland PD. It has helped me quite a lot in putting my timeline together. But we need the rest of the documents. So...

I'm making this offer to scan and post every page of the 14,000 pages, and to set up a team to help me do so.

At the same time I want to start circulating a petition for the RSJP to release these documents to the movement"

FOR OUR SAFETY (IF YOU BELIEVE THAT THE FBI, MENDOCINO COUNTY LAW ENFORCEMENT, OR BIG TIMBER HAD ANY INVOLVEMENT IN THE BOMBING) WE IN THE MOVEMENT AND/OR NORTHCOAST RESIDENTS NEED TO SEE THOSE DOCUMENTS *NOW* BECAUSE THE FBI AND BIG TIMBER ARE STILL OUT THERE, AND THEY ARE KILLING US *NOW* (DAVID CHAIN). SO WE NEED TO TEACH OURSELVES EVERYTHING WE CAN ABOUT HOW THEY OPERATE. WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE OF THEIR INTELLIGENCE AND DISRUPTION PROGRAM AGAINST US.

WITHHOLDING THESE DOCUMENTS PUTS EF!ERS AT RISK OF DEATH BECAUSE THESE CAMPAIGNS CONTINUE IF THEY ARE NOT EXPOSED. SO HOW CAN ANY EF!ERS CONSCIONABLY WITHHOLD THESE DOCUMENTS? HOW CAN THE REDWOOD SUMMER JUSTICE PROJECT JUSTIFY TENS YEARS OF KEEPING THIS INFORMATION TO THEMSELVES?

And that's just using an argument based on Judi's claims about the FBI/Big Timber operation presumably behind the bombing.


One of the strangest things to me about the whole bombing case, however, is how little Darryl is involved in this matter. He doesn't seem to have any emotional involvement whatsoever in finding the bomber(s). At the 1998 EF! Rendezvous, I was actually shocked to see him do a workshop about the RSJP lawsuit. I hadn't heard him speak about the case at all during the preceding year, and I had worked with him almost daily since eight months prior to the '98 RRR. Even when we were working on the Judi CD, he never really brought up the case in daily conversation. He never expressed anger, rage, frustration at being attacked and almost killed, and no official investigation of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Maybe he's just run out of juice on the matter. I don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill. But it sure seems strange to me. Why hasn't he ever expressed such outrage to launch a campaign pressuring for a public investigation of this matter? Especially in light of Waco, Ruby Ridge, OK City bombing, etc.?

Nothing in ten years.

But he's probably more interested in his own ego than in finding the bomber, and perhaps he's just distracted by his desire to stay in the spotlight. But why is it that he has raised $50,000 to Jail Hurwitz, and not a dime to find the only bomber to ever attack Earth First!? Why isn't there a reward for nailing the bomber? $50,000 will get a lot of people to speak.The JH reward was raised from two people who each have pledged $25,000. I do not know who they are (as far as I know, Darryl is the only person who does know. I believe he is the person responsible for raising all of the JH reward pledges.). Wouldn't those two people seem likely to have been just as willing to pledge the money to find Judi's bomber? I THINK SO!

Someone should ask Darryl, were they ever asked?

Well, I can tell you two things about the Hurwitz reward:

  1. Darryl has not disqualified himself from winning the reward for himself
  2. The real purpose of the Jail Hurwitz campaign, including the web site, *is* for Darryl to get the reward

He has told me he is trying to get the reward. This is why none of the information the Jail Hurwitz campaign received from responses to the web site has been made public. Nor will any future tips. Darryl wants to be the only person to receive these tips, and the only person to even know about them. Then he can claim to have provided the tip *himself* and he can walk away with the reward. Who's gonna know what the tip was that got Hurwitz busted? Is some MAXXAM employee in Puerto Rico going to pursue this fraud, if they provide the tip (several came from Puerto Rico actually)? So as usual, he is hoarding information to maintain control, even if that means failure for the Headwaters cause. Even if it means that the bomber of Judi Bari is never brought to justice, and that the FBI campaign against Redwood Summer and Earth First! is never exposed in any detail.

Originally, when Darryl Cherney hired me to take over management of the Jail Hurwitz web site, my title was Jail Hurwitz project manager, or some such thing. In addition to being webmaster, I was to handle all of the Jail Hurwitz e-mail. At the time, Darryl was still circulating his "Why Computers are Evil" Green Egg essay (he still is!), and wanted nothing to do with e-mail or responding to "the plebians."

After I broke the Julia Butterfly story nationally by getting People magazine connected to Julia via the EF! Media Center web site, Darryl got interested in e-mail, and I set up his computer to receive it. Then he ordered me to not deal with the JH e-mail anymore. he was going to take it over. In other words, he really didn't want me to even look at it anymore. It became his private mail. And he only once or twice more mentioned any tips of interest.


My interest in computers is purely to facilitate better activism, to remove obstacles to people getting involved (like someone not being able to find a group to work with because they don't know where to find it). I don't enjoy computers. I don't use them for recreation and have never played a computer game. Until October, 1998 I hadn't even owned one. I used other people's computers to get the job done. Making do with next to nothing. So making web sites user/activist-friendly is a priority for me.

But not for Darryl. When I was hired, I thought we were going to make a Jail Hurwitz grassroots campaign out of the web site. I had thought the purpose of the web site was to pull together info to help other activists help in a broad effort to jail Hurwitz and to fight industrial logging. I thought Darryl would write-up flyers and articles for the EF! Journal and Northcoast enviro publications from the material we uncovered so that other activists could get involved and help us jail Hurwitz. Or, perhaps, at least to provide ammo for killing the Headwaters Deal. But nothing could have been further from the truth.

Over a year ago, Mike Jakubal and I were having meetings, planning a national anti-MAXXAM/Jail Hurwitz campaign in which we would go around the country and hand out JH/anti-MXM info to employees of MXM-owned companies as they left work. Mike and I had a broader agenda as well. We wanted to use Hurwitz as our poster child for teaching Americans about how capitalism/capitalists *structurally and institutionally* destroy forests (even the Mighty Redwoods!) and every other ecosystem on the planet. You know, the stuff Judi Bari spoke about, we wanted to actually organize around. The point was to actually mobilize people to accomplish a concrete objective, not just to create a new--and empty--PC rhetoric to become popular and famous among otherwise uninvolved lefties.

Darryl shut down that effort, by excluding us from using the Environmentally Sound Promotions (ESP) office for such work. Even though that violated my work agreement with him. For about 80-100 hours of work each week, Darryl paid me $10/hour for 20 hours per week. In exchange for the rest of my labor, I had unfettered access to everything in the office for my own purposes (such as EF! Media Center and Climate Action NOW!). Eventually, Mike Jakubal said fuck it. He is another person that Alicia and Judi had abused, and he didn't want to receive anymore shit from Darryl. His life is hard enough.

What's more, Darryl instructed me to *not* make the Jail Hurwitz web site user-friendly (meaning activist-friendly). I wanted to make ready-to-print flyers and fact sheets that people could download, print out, photocopy, and hand out in their communities. But Darryl was not at all happy when I brought up these ideas. He said he wanted it to be useful only to "serious" lawyer-types. So he refused to pay me if I spent time on making the site activist-friendly.

Then, ten days after David Gypsy Chain was killed (and I was the only person sending the story out around the world via the internet and this web site), Darryl Cherney, my employer, friend, and Earth First! colleague of 13 years, locked me out. Three days after Darryl locked me out, the Kaiser Aluminum workers went on strike. So Darryl did exactly what Hurwitz does. In fact, regarding lockouts, Darryl beat Hurwitz to the punch by locking me out three months before Hurwitz locked out his employees. And Darryl hired a scab replacement for me as well, who still works for him, Joy Williams.

Starving, a few weeks later I worked with Mike Jakubal and two reps from the USWA to organize the first EF!-worker coalition action in North America. Mike worked undercover for the workers for several weeks, contributing tremendous practical energy to support these MAXXAM employees in their battle to stop Hurwitz. Darryl then flew to Spokane, Washington to grab the limelight of and credit for a coalition he and Judi Bari couldn't build in ten years. And to pledge support for workers. Really. He's scum. A movement predator.

So these are just more ways that Darryl Cherney has curbed activist resources, donated by unaware supporters who thought they were contributing money *to a group, a movement, or an investigation* to get a result as fast as humanly possible (i.e. jailing Hurwitz and killing the Headwaters Deal), into his own secretive, unaccountable, personal domain. He ends up having sole access to crucial information and facilities, and the cause gets badly screwed. And Darryl, to this day, still uses the Jail Hurwitz web site as his big pitch to raise grant money for his nonprofit self, Environmentally Sound Promotions. He has six computers sitting in his "personal" office unused.

So why is there a huge, fantasy-based, reward to "Jail Hurwitz," raised by Darryl Cherney, but no similar reward, raised by Darryl Cherney or anybody else, to find *his* bomber? TO FIND THE GUY WHO BOMBED DARRYL HIMSELF, not just Judi, let us not forget. Answer: Because Darryl couldn't get the $50,000 reward for the bomber.

Furthermore, if the money were pledged to find the bomber, probably these deep pockets wouldn't have a second $25K for the JH reward. SO DARRYL HAS MADE THE CHOICE THAT IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO CREATE A FEEBLE OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO WIN $50K THAN IT IS TO DO SOMETHING THAT COULD BREAK THE CASE AND FIND THE GUY WHO BOMBED AND, BUT FOR AN END-CAP FLUKE, WOULD HAVE KILLED HIM AND THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, JUDI BARI!

Jail Hurney! Jail Cherwitz!
Andy Caffrey

PS The other POSSIBLE answer to the question of why there is no reward to find the bomber would be that Cherney and RSJP know who the bomber is. I don't believe that is the reason (I think they are just clueless, narcissistic dimwits, and the idea never occurred to them), but in the context of the discussions of new evidence and the petitions of recent weeks for a new investigation into the bombing, it is certainly a plausible answer to the question.


Posted May 24, 2000, Tenth Anniversary of the Car Bomb Attack on Judi Bari