No Pepper Spray on Nonviolent Protesters 


Pepper Spray Q-Tip Swabbing Case Opens In San Francisco

MEDIA ADVISORY  For immediate release Sept. 7, 2004

Jury Selection September 8; Solidarity Rally at noon

Beta cam video news releases and courtroom drawings are available through the contact phone number. Video images, legal documents, other background and links available at .


Contact Karen Pickett, 510-548-3113

Lundberg et al. vs. County of Humboldt et al.

Pepper spray plaintiffs represented by the civil rights legal team from the successful 2002 Earth First! (Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney) vs. FBI and Oakland Police civil case.

Plaintiffs - The "Pepper Spray 8" Spring Lundberg, Terri Slanetz, Mike McCurdy, Sam Neuwirth, Maya Portugal, Lisa Sanderson-Fox, Jennifer Banka Schneider, and Noel Tendick.

Retrial of the Pepper Spray by Q-tip case, stemming from the 1998 case charging unconstitutional use of excessive force when Humboldt County Sheriffs Deputies and Eureka Police responded to non-violent sit-in protests by applying liquid pepper spray directly to the eyes of the immobile protesters via Q-tips and close-range spraying.

San Francisco Federal Building, 450 Golden Gate Ave., court of Hon. Susan Illston.

19th floor, room 10. Noontime rally on Polk St. side of federal building.

Wednesday Sept. 8

Court is in session 830 am - 330 pm. Jury selection will take place Sept. 8; opening arguments are expected Sept. 9. Attorneys and plaintiffs will be available for media interviews after court. A press conference will take place on Thursday, Sept. 9 at noon.


National television audiences were jarred when footage was aired of Humboldt County police forcing pepper-spray soaked Q-tips into the eyes of young non-violent activists in 1997. The swabbing happened at sit-in protests calling for the protection of the ancient redwoods of Headwaters Forest in northern California. Amnesty International called the officers' actions "tantamount to torture." The activists sued.

Although the incidents drew international outrage and condemnation, state officials have codified the police tactic by incorporating these practices into guidelines for dealing with civil disobedience in California.

After a hung jury in the 1998 trial, challenges at the state, appeals court and US Supreme Court levels, the civil rights case returns to San Francisco before a new judge to be argued by an award-winning legal team.


Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters (BACH)
2530 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94702
phone 510 548 3113

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