With a click of the mouse, see for yourself if Coleman's statements are true….
1. Coleman says Judi Bari abandoned the forests…
“ Bari had plainly chosen the role of martyr over that of environmental activist.” [p.189]
“… Bari's focus was now [1994-96] almost entirely on herself and her federal lawsuit…She was spending equal time doing depositions and fundraising—for her legal case, rather than for the redwoods or Earth First.”[p. 210]
THE FACTS: Coleman doesn't say a single word about it, but from 1994 until cancer stopped her in late 1996, Judi Bari organized and led the successful Earth First! campaign to save Headwaters Forest, with the largest mass timber demonstrations and mass timber arrests in U.S. history. She also was involved in other forestry activism continuously from 1992 onwards. The newspapers were filled with her name and photo…click here to see 15 pages of selected articles:
2. Coleman says Judi Bari killed Earth First!…
“In the wake of Bari's death, Earth First all but disappeared…” [p. 232]
“the end of Earth First” [book title]
THE FACTS: Inspired by the Save the Headwaters campaign and moved by Judi's death, Earth First! soared to a new peak of activity that continues today. The three years after Judi's death featured widely-publicized Earth First! events like another Headwaters rally of 4,000 people, the pepper spray atrocity committed on demonstrators in Congressman Rigg's office, the death of demonstrator David Gypsy Chain at a logger's hands, the death of tree-sitter Beth O'Brien in Santa Cruz, and a historic peak of 18 Earth Firsters sitting in trees in Humboldt County at one time in 2003. Nationally, Earth First! continues to the strong and www.earthfirstjournal.org lists 55 local contacts.
Click here to view 13 pages of selections from Earth First! press reports from 1997-2003:
3. Coleman says Bari wouldn't talk about Larry Chaulk's stipulation, made when he sold his Boonville property, that virgin redwoods on it never be cut down.
“Years later, Chaulk sold off his property with the stipulation that the stand of virgin redwoods on it never be cut down. Bari never talked about that.” [p. 57]
THE FACTS: Larry Chaulk didn't sell his property until April 3, 1997 , 32 days after Bari died, so it would have been hard for her to talk about it. And if Chaulk ever made such a stipulation, it never appeared in the deed or any other legal document at the Recorder's Office, which is where it would have to be to protect the trees permanently. To view the deed of sale, click here:
4. Coleman says Bari told Bruce Anderson about beatings and rape by her ex-husband…
“ Bari also told Bruce Anderson … that Sweeney had forced her to have sex and was beating her.” [p. 101]
THE FACTS: It's a lie, according to Bruce Anderson himself in an article he published in his Anderson Valley Advertiser on May 11, 1994, stating, “The simple truth of the matter is that Bari and Sweeney separated peacefully and cooperatively.” The article also exposes Irv Sutley , Mary Moore and Anna Marie Stenberg as conspirators to spread misinformation about Bari …a cabal later joined by Anderson himself and spoon-fed to Coleman. Click here to see Anderson's article:
5. Coleman says Bari dumped her daughters on her sister Gina Kolata in the summer of 1990, even though Bari didn't get along with her…
“Judi was relieved when her sister Gina offered to take the girls for the summer following the bombing…she took her nieces during the summer of 1990—as she had done before.” [p. 187]
“Once Bari was ensconced in the foggy seclusion of String Creek…her daughters returned from Princeton [ Gina's home] to join her.” [p. 190]
THE FACTS: Bari's daughters Lisa and Jessica never visited Gina Kolata's home during Bari's lifetime. During the summer of 1990, they stayed in Redwood Valley with their father, and then with Bari when she was recovered enough to have them. This is common knowledge, and is also documented by three photographs showing Bari with her daughters during the summer, and also two newspaper articles about 9-year-old Lisa's participation in demonstrations that summer. Click here to view them:
6. Coleman says Sweeney had inside knowledge of the 1970 firebombing of the Bank of America…
“ Sweeney wrote a hit piece on the Bank of America and its founder in the radical monthly Ramparts. In it, he quoted someone he identified as one of the arsonists, without any explanation of how he had access to the source: ‘Said a 17-year-old bank burner: “Well it was there…the biggest capitalist establishment thing around.' ” [p. 29]
THE FACTS: The 2 nd paragraph of the Ramparts article in the November, 1970 issue attributes the bank burner's quote to the San Francisco Chronicle. And, in fact, the quote appears at the very end of the San Francisco Chronicle's article of February 27, 1970. And, in fact, Sweeney didn't even write the Ramparts article although his name was put on it. Then only 23 years old, Sweeney was part of a group that submitted a dull research piece to Ramparts about the bank. The article was rejected by the Ramparts editors and rewritten from scratch. The editors directly involved in the rewrite were Peter Collier and David Horowitz (this was years before they renounced the left and became extreme right-wingers). Today, Collier heads Encounter Books that published Coleman's book, and Horowitz was the original recruiter who brought Coleman into the pay of the right-wing. Unbelievable? See the documents by clicking here:
7. Coleman says Bari and Sweeney had a secret child custody war…
“It would all look bad to authorities in the simmering custody fight that continued after the divorce.” [p. 101]
“The couple's battle for custody , she told Moore now, might be shifted permanently in Sweeney's favor…” [p. 164]
“Few of these attendants knew about the custody fight …The ongoing struggle with Sweeney was still the most secret of all her wars.” [p. 164]
THE FACTS: The “secret custody war” was so secret that it didn't exist. Bari didn't hesitate to take her daughters along to radical demonstrations both before and after the car bombing (as noted by Coleman herself on pages 61, 99, 116, 119 and 209), something she would never have done if she feared a custody motion challenging her fitness. Court records in uncontested dissolution No. CV-56189 prove that Bari and Sweeney agreed on all custody, visitation and support issues in 1988 when they did their do-it-yourself divorce, and neither of them ever tried to change anything. An attorney recently inspected the court records and swore an affidavit about their contents. To view it, click here:
8. Coleman says Bari and Bruce Anderson patched up all their differences before the 1990 car bombing…
“[ Bari ] had stolen and then destroyed AVA issues, reacting to a drawing in the paper that offended her feminist sensibilities. Anderson was furious, but he says the two had patched it up well before the bombing.” [p. 212]
THE FACTS: The fight over the sexist drawing in the Anderson Valley Advertiser happened in February, 1993, almost three years after the bombing. Bari intercepted the AVA's paste-ups and replaced the cartoon with a spoof. Anderson demanded that the police arrest her on felony charges. Then he ran another cartoon depicting Bari as a Nazi leader of a gang of thugs. See a newspaper account and the Nazi cartoon by clicking here:
9. Coleman says Sweeney and Bari cheated Mendocino County by rehabilitating an existing house in Redwood Valley instead of getting a building permit for new construction…
“Once the garage was readied, they could gut most of the old house while retaining the walls to satisfy Redwood Valley's zoning laws and escape the need for a building permit.” [p. 54]
THE FACTS: There was no “old house.” Bari and Sweeney built a new house from foundation up, taking out building permit UK-395-87 on March 17, 1987.
To see the building permit, click here:
10. Coleman says Sweeney grew up in Santa Barbara…
“As [Don Sweeney's] fortunes rose, the Sweeneys moved to Santa Barbara, where they raised their three sons.” [p. 28]
THE FACTS: Neither Mike Sweeney or his brothers ever lived in Santa Barbara. Sweeney grew up in Connecticut. To view his grade school, junior high and high school diplomas, click here:
11. Coleman says Sweeney returned to Stanford in 1972-73 to complete his requirements for a degree…
“In May, 1972, Cindy Sweeney gave birth to her first child…Perhaps it was the birth of their children that prompted both parents to return to Stanford to finish their undergraduate study.” [p. 31]
THE FACTS: Perhaps Coleman is just making stuff up again. Mike Sweeney last enrolled at Stanford in the autumn quarter of 1969, as shown by his college transcript. To view the transcript, click here:
12. Coleman says Bari's political appearances were "rare" after the bombing...
"On May 28, 1992, Bari made a rare appearance as the headliner for a rally and march by the 'Albion Nation,' an affinity group of environmentalists in and around Albion Ridge..." [p. 208]
THE FACTS: Newspaper clippings prove that Bari was constantly busy making political appearances of all kinds in 1991-92, including speeches at Albion demonstrations during the preceding month. This doesn't fit with Coleman's slander that she became a self-centered "diva" who turned her back on environmental activism, so Coleman makes the absurd claim that it was "rare" for Bari to be a featured participant at an environmental action. The historical record proves the opposite--she used her celebrity from the bombing as a tool to work even harder on forestry and other issues. To view selections from 20 newspaper stores documenting some of her 1991-92 appearances, click on the Instant Proof button below.
13. Coleman says Bari felt "political emptiness" in the 1980's because her husband opposed her radical politics...
"[While living in Santa Rosa]....Bari...was bothered by his withdrawal from radicalism. 'He became very parochial and small minded,' she said later on.'"...She later quoted Sweeney as saying he had sworn off radicalism because 'it didn't work.' Bari said she responded with a declaration of her own: 'So I said, 'Well fuck you, I'm still going to be politically active.'"[p. 45]
"Judi's embrace of the redwoods was less a matter of moving on to the next big thing than of filling the political emptiness she'd felt since marrying Sweeney [in 1981]." [p. 59]
THE FACTS: Coleman takes a few alleged Bari quotes out of their historical context and applies them to the period 1981-86 to imagine a split between "radical" Bari and "non-radical" Sweeney. It's a total lie. There's plenty of proof that Bari was as busy as ever on the hot radical issues of the time--hardly feeling "political emptiness"--and that Sweeney was involved in the same issues, although he was working at the same time as a self-employed contractor to support the family. Click here to view an archive of items from that period:
: [page being assembled, visit again soon]
14. Coleman says Earth First! put out a "Wanted" poster that threatened Maxxam chief Charles Hurwitz with death...
"...they distributed flyers (designed by Cherney) announcing a $5,000 reward for Hurwitz under the heading, 'Wanted.' The flyer suggested the Old West's 'Dead or Alive' posters, implicitly carrying the same threat." [p. 138]
"...Cherney had put out his own not-so-veiled death warrant against Maxxam's Charles Hurwitz." [p. 138]
THE FACTS: The poster was headlined "Reward! $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Charles Hurwitz." It didn't say "Wanted" and in no way evoked the "Dead or Alive" motif of the old west. There was no threat of violence and the poster resembled what hangs in every post office. It highlighted Hurwitz's violations of environmental laws and securities laws in the Pacific Lumber takeover, which were under investigation by the SEC and a House committee. Proof that this poster was the one distributed by Earth First! in 1989 is provided by Fortune magazine, April 24, 1989, p. 173, which states: "Environmental extremists have declared holy war, with groups such as Earth First! speaking to the press from up in the branches and handing out posters reading REWARD: $1,000 FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO THE ARREST AND CONVICTION OF CHARLES HURWITZ." To view the poster and Fortune article, click here: [page being assembled, visit again soon]
15. Coleman says Julia Butterfly Hill drives a Lexus SUV...
"Butterfly now drives a Lexus SUV (according to the Earth First grapevine) and lives in the pricey East Bay hills..." [p. 230]
THE FACTS: No, Kate, not everyone is a craven sell-out like you. Julia Butterfly Hill doesn't drive anything. She doesn't even have a driver's license. Instead, she has California Identification Card No. D1342168, a form of identification available only to non-drivers. To view Butterfly's non-driver ID, click here: [page being assembled, visit again soon.]
More to come as additional INSTANT PROOF documents are assembled. These represent only a handful of the 351 errors, lies and critical omissions in Coleman's hit-piece. For a comprehensive list of all the falsehoods identified so far, click here .