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Film Discussion with Legendary Civil Rights Lawyers


April 4, 2007 6:00pm - 8:00pm


Featuring "The Forest for the Trees"
Judi Bari vs. The FBI
A film by Bernadine Mellis

Co-presented by NLG and ELS

This film is an intimate look at an unlikely team of young activists and old lefties who come together to battle the U.S. government following environmental activist Judi Bari's arrest on terrorism charges in 1990. Filmmaker Bernadine Mellis, the daughter of Bari's attorney Dennis Cunningham, was there to document her father's legal crusade (previous clients of Cunningham include the Black Panthers and the Weatherman). The film offers access into the life of the extraordinary Judi Bari, and a piece of U.S. history that everyday grows increasingly resonant and the role that radical lawyers play within a movement for justice. This amazing story of the fight to clear Earth First! activist Judi Bari's name after her car was bombed and she was arrested as a terrorist, the screening of "The Forest for the Trees" will be followed by discussion and Q & A with the two prominent civil rights attorneys featured in the film, Dennis Cunningham and Tony Serra.

Dennis Cunningham, who started out his career representing the Black Panthers and the Weathermen, was recently presented with the Spirit of Justice Award by the National Lawyers Guild.

Tony Serra won the Trial Lawyer of the Year award in 2003 and has frequently been in trouble with the law for failure to pay taxes, and is known for living a frugal lifestyle and driving a run-down car. On July 29, 2005, he was sentenced to 10 months of federal prison, to be served in Lompoc, and ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution for a misdemeanor conviction for willful failure to pay taxes. Serra's clients have included Huey Newton, the White Panthers, Hell's Angels, Earth First!, Brownie Mary, Dennis Peron, New World Liberation Front (NWLF), Hooty Croy, Ellie Nestor, and Symbionese Liberation Army members Sara Jane Olson, Russell Little and Michael Bortin.

Dinner will be served