Judi Bari and 'the feminization of Earth first!': the convergence of class, gender and radical environmentalism

Published in: Feminist review ISSN 0141-7789
2002, no70, pp. 105-122 [18 page(s) (article)]

This paper addresses feminist materialism as political practice through a case study of IWW-Earth First! Local 1, the late Judi Bari's organization of a radical ecology/ timber workers' union in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California. Rejecting the Earth First! mythology of timber workers as enemies' of nature, Bari sought to unite workers and environmentalists in pursuit of sustainable forestry practices against the devastating approaches favoured by multinational logging corporations. In so doing, she brought a working-class feminist perspective to the radical ecology of Earth First!

Bari's work provided a significant instance of community organizing in opposition to the masculinist, exclusionary practices and misanthropic posturing of Earth First!'s self-proclaimed eco-warriors' and 'rednecks for nature'. What is perhaps most interesting about the development of Local 1 is the articulation of feminist, environmentalist and labour discourses through a series of political actions.