It was a sunny day in September 1995 when Lummi Indian drummers and roundancers, in front of Whatcom County Courthouse, listened to Lummi spiritual leader Kenny Cooper and Washington Environmental Council president Sherilyn Wells declare unity in fighting Wise Use and the Anti-Indian Movement. That morning, I met Martin Keeley in Blaine to pick up a box of Paul de Armond’s groundbreaking special report, Wise Use in Northern Puget Sound, hot off the press, and delivered them to Sherilyn and Kenny and Shirley Leckman, Lummi staff attorney, as Paul and I watched friends like Tip Johnson join in the roundance.
It is a good memory of a perilous time:
- April 1995 was the OKC bombing by Christian Patriot militias.
- May 1995, Citizens for Liberty met at Squalicum Harbor Center to recruit local Christian Patriots.
- July 1995, Public Good Project provided packets of CLUE hate literature (composed by Skip Richards) to local religious and civic leaders.
- September 1995, KGMI Radio joined the Anti-Indian campaign initiated by Whatcom County Councilwoman Marlene Dawson and Skip Richards, with support from U.S. Senator Slade Gorton.
- November 1995, Washington State Militia held its inaugural meeting at Rome Grange. Citizens for Liberty and Center for Defense of Free Enterprise collaborated to promote violence against environmentalists. Militia of Montana leader John Trochman was hosted by WSM in Mt. Vernon, WA.
- July 1996, FBI agents arrested eight militia members in Bellingham and Seattle on conspiracy, firearms and explosives charges. In 1997, seven of them were convicted in U.S. District Court.