Accused Oakland Ecoterrorist Awaits Judge's Ruling



After four days of deliberations, a jury in Tacoma, Washington is currently deadlocked on some charges in the case against 32-year-old Oakland violin teacher Briana Waters, although they have reached unanimous decisions (as yet undeclared) on other charges. Federal Judge Franklin Burgess is expected to decide today whether to accept a partial verdict or send the jurors back for further deliberations.

Waters, now a mother of a toddler, was indicted in the May 2001 Earth Liberation Front firebombing of a University of Washington horticulture building where it was wrongly believed that plants were genetically engineered.

Two women convicted in the case say Waters acted as a lookout during the firebombing; Waters denies it. Her ex-beau, Justin Solondz, is now a fugitive; the FBI calls the 150-pound freelance carpenter "armed and dangerous and an escape risk." Another man charged in the case committed suicide. The damaged building cost $7 million to repair.

At Indymedia and Students for a Democratic Society web sites, activists were urged to attend the trial: "Our presence will be the support she needs. Please come dressed and leave the wacky at home."