Archive for category Tim DeChristopher
It was a nice event. Looked like about one hundred showed up. Here’s how things went down:
I’ve been waiting to see the master interviewer sit down with Tim for a long time!
The wait is over:
On December 19, 2008, in a courageous act of civil disobedience, Tim DeChristopher protested an oil and gas lease auction of 116 parcels of public land in Utah’s red rock country, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management. DeChristopher decided to participate in the auction, signing a bidder registration Form and placing bids to obtain 14 parcels of land (totaling 22,500 acres) for $1.8 million. DeChristopher was removed from the auction by federal agents, taken into custody, and questioned.
The auction was later declared illegal by incoming Obama Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar.
Nonetheless, DeChristopher was aggressively persecuted by George W. Bush-appointed federal prosecutors a judge who’s tenure included Chief of Staff for Senator Orrin Hatch. DeChristopher courageously refused all plea offers to avoid jail time. On July 26, 2011, Judge Dee Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison;
Peaceful Uprising is organizing a screening of Bidder70 in Salt Lake City: the first that Tim will be able to attend since the movie premiered last year! In conjunction with this event, the filmmakers (Beth & George Gage) have partnered with a film distributor, Gathr Films, to organize countrywide simultaneous theatrical screenings.
An hour-long post-screening discussion and Q&A with Tim will be streamed so that everyone, no matter where they are watching, will be able to participate: by watching and/or sending questions via Twitter. It wouldn’t be a true PeaceUp celebration without song, which is why we’ve invited our dear friend Bryan Cahall (whose song Arise you will recognize in the movie) to join in a jam session as well.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Sign up to host your own local screening of Bidder 70: http://
2. Join PeaceUp in helping Gathr spread the word, by inviting your friends to their Facebook event, sharing it via the Twitter webs and updating your Facebook status:https://www.facebook.com/
3. Contribute to Bidder70?s IndieGoGo Distribution campaign (http://www.indiegogo.com/
4. Come to Salt Lake City. Details about our SLC Screening can be found by clicking HERE.
Have You Been To Jail for Justice? Peter Yarrow Spoke and Sang for Tim DeChristopher in Downtown Salt Lake City on Wednesday
Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul and Mary came to Salt Lake City for Tim DeChristopher’s sentencing. We thank him for his support and wisdom.
Cross posted from “I Do Not Want Mercy, I Want You To Join Me” at CommonDreams.org
Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court. When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to “get to know me.” He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate. I was struck by the fact that he was the first person in this courthouse to call me by my first name, or even really look me in the eye. I appreciate this opportunity to speak openly to you for the first time. I’m not here asking for your mercy, but I am here asking that you know me.
Mr. Huber has leveled a lot of character attacks at me, many of which are contrary to Mr. Manross’s report. While reading Mr Huber’s critiques of my character and my integrity, as well as his assumptions about my motivations, I was reminded that Mr Huber and I have never had a conversation. Over the two and half years of this prosecution, he has never asked my any of the questions that he makes assumptions about in the government’s report. Apparently, Mr. Huber has never considered it his job to get to know me, and yet he is quite willing to disregard the opinions of the one person who does see that as his job.
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In the age of perpetual media, one has to be in a soundless sleep to avoid the saturation of news and opinions. In light of this acceleration of technology in a post- modern society I have found that many citizens are reflecting the divisive political tactics taken by media demagogues both progressive and conservative. We have become media acolytes and this underlying paradigm shift is self-evident in the manner we treat one another in our daily lives.
This entertaining reflection of division was demonstrated perfectly on my Facebook wall upon the release of the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Many assigned praise to former President George W. Bush. Just as many lauded President Obama for “getting the job done.” Some were sensitive enough to honor our brothers and sisters overseas for their service to the United States. Then a strange sociological twist occurred within a few days. My more progressive friends began circulating a Martin Luther King quote making the point that no one should celebrate a death. My conservative friends began pointing fingers and claiming that the progressive’s were not genuine patriots, one in particular saying; “I would have pulled the trigger myself”.
These individual reactions are quintessential of the current trend of sound-byte politics. We only receive a spoonful of the actual informational meal and due to professional demands move quickly forward with a formed opinion. The manner the consistent news cycle disseminates information is detrimental to the cohesiveness of our society. A singular manipulated sound-byte can act as a catalyst for a passionate and well-meant argument, that in the end leave two individuals with a chasm in their relationship. Some even prefer the more passive aggressive modern approach of ranting or un-friending on Facebook. We each have an individual responsibility to ourselves and to others to understand like Paul Harvey says, “the rest of the story.”
Most of us find ourselves perpetually drenched in media, desperately wading through,hoping we’ll somehow come upon shore having created a better life. Yet the process to get there has become incredibly divisive, vengeful and unsympathetic to one another. This can very well be characterized by the “birther” contention that arose under President Obama’s presidency by conservatives and the ”stupid” jokes hurled at President Bush by liberals. In focusing on these factious views, we have made little strides to correct the social, economic or environmental discord that has befallen us within these past few years. With all of these problems we still find sport in placing blame and chucking insults rather than working towards credible and widespread beneficial change that will move us towards a goal for the greater good.
On a local level here in Utah, this type of vitriolic attitude has been seen by both Democrats and Republicans. Both posturing or fabricating situations to promote an agenda, and Republicans have gone as far breaking Reagan’s “Eleventh commandment” ‘thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans’. All of this has caused political in-fighting, territorial grabs by activists, and a general and egregious disregard of each other’s humanity. It is as if we have all secured a focus so solidly on a goal that it has become impossible to see past our respective principled rigidity to compromise, or more optimally to create an environment of understanding and good-will while at the same time remaining convicted.
There are very few of us that are genuinely “bad” people. There are opportunists, there are the vengeful, the self-interested, the vain… but absolutely none of these independent qualities quantify a thoroughly “bad” person. What does constitute a bad person is someone that is violent or forces someone to do something against their will. Now that we understand that few of us are bad then why in politics do we treat each other so badly?
How did we each become so tethered to mass media, that we began reflecting the divisive behavior of media icons and politicians towards one another? I was shocked to the core, when I overheard a vocal activist belittle the civil disobedience tactic of this well-known activist. There were hopes by this activist, that the other activist would be given a steep jail sentence and proceeded to protest at his trial in order to see a greater punishment handed towards this person. Now to be clear. I am not warm to the idea of what this individual did, but he is a feeling human being who I have trouble believing wanted to sacrifice the joys of being a free human and be subjected to incarceration for the sake of garnering attention.
I am still taken aback by the efforts and vocal demonizing of us activist/politicos engage in. I am still shaken by the psychological violence easily unleashed on one another by such innocent things as having a divergent position or method. Rather than taking the more harmonious path of respecting one another and coming together to thoroughly discuss issues and foster one another’s intelligence. We find it easier to follow suit with radicals such as Glenn Beck and openly disagree and attempt to change a mind then if we are unsuccessful we discount one another and move on with the mentality that everyone in the world that doesn’t agree with our personal position is “crazy.” Attitudes such as this damage the soul of our country and are taking us into a spiral of negativity that will serve no one. Furthermore if we continue on this path we will not only continue in this era of erraticism but so will our children.
The media, at least, has an excuse. They need to protect their jobs by raking in the ratings to ensure the flow of capital. You and I have no excuse…and I dare say we have a responsibility to our society, to create a more gentle, kind and understanding environment in spite of oppositional ideologies over the state of political affairs in our nation and the world. This example we set will resonate locally and globally. I embolden you to follow suit and treat your fellow divergent thinker with the upmost respect and understanding, without losing yourself in the process.
That’s what I remember of the day Tim DeChristopher was convicted to a possible ten year prison sentence. It was raining, hailing and cold on what some would call a dreary day, but the jubilation was palatable because Mr. DeChristopher stood strong, good natured and showed no contrition for his “crime”.
The younger generation will take it to a new level; as always.
Update: More pics I took. Feel free to use any of these or the top one:
Update: Three important interviews with Mr. DeChristopher at:
“The public square is the proper place for the defendants message, not criminal proceedings in federal court.” -US government
The Justice Department is putting Tim DeChristopher on trial for blocking an illegal federal oil and gas auction. This absurdity is heightened by the judge’s subsequent ruling, legally prohibiting Tim from telling the jury his reasons for doing what he did. Even though the judge is severely restricting what Tim can say, the government continues to delay the trial, denying Tim justice.
The oil industry might not want us to have this trial, but we do.
“The Climate Trial” will take place November 5th, 2010, with or without the court. This trial is not just about Tim; it’s about holding the real criminals accountable. Join us—you’ll be the jury—deciding where the responsibility lies for passing on a healthy world to our children.
Begin: high noon. Length: about 30 minutes Where: 350 S. Main St. (across from the federal courthouse. (map)
Questions? Suggestions? email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To volunteer to help with promotion or logistics, include your contact info in the message. Thanks!
Note: there will also be mobilizations and actions in Salt Lake City during the “real” trial. After 5 delays (and counting?) from the government, we are unable to post the exact date until it is imminent. If you would like to receive the most up-to-date information, you can sign up for our Climate Trial Email Updates.
For the lead-up to the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December, Google Earth has put together a new way to “explore the potential impacts of climate change on our planet Earth and find out about possible solutions for adaptation and mitigation.”
Can DeChristopher put climate change on trial?
In a September hearing, Judge Dee Benson said he was strongly inclined not to let Tim DeChristopher present what lawyers call a “necessity” or “choice of evils” defense in front of the jury. Tim and his legal team are now presenting the case in writing, due to the judge on October 25th. Among other things, the defense wants to argue that climate change brought on by fossil fuel burning presents a real and imminent danger.
More info: www.bidder70.org
Tim DeChristopher, accused of federal crimes for disrupting a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction, today pleaded not guilty to all charges. The judge set a trial date of July 6.
Tim DeChristopher speaks to supporters before his arraignment
Before his arraignment, DeChristopher told a group of supporters that while U.S. Attorney Brett Tolman has threatened him with ten years in prison, the threats due to climate change are far more daunting.
DeChristopher, lawyer (and former BLM Director) Pat Shea, and NASA climatologist Dr. James Hansen led a march from Library Square to the federal courthouse, carrying Bidder 70 paddles and banners that read, “We are all Bidder 70.”
Activists from Peaceful Uprising brought a huge banner: “CLIMATE JUSTICE IS SURVIVAL, NOW OR NEVER.”
More photos below…
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From Orwellian executive orders, stem-cell research, torture, abstinence education to compromised federal appointments, broken countries, armies, educational and economic systems, the undoing will take years (short list).
Interior Secretary Salazar undid the illegal BLM auction at which Tim DeChristopher did his brilliant act of civil disobedience. Regrettably, US Attorney Brett Tolman, a Bush (Hatch) appointment, has decided to prosecute Tim on two felony charges, up to 10 years in prison.
I write today ask you for two things:
- Send this to anyone you may know in Utah who can help get bodies to the pre-arraignment rally in Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning.
We were ecstatic when another American Hero, James Hansen called to offer his support at Tim’s arraignment (another reason to recommend this post and urge more media).
- Please recommend this post at DailyKos (must be existing diarist) in hopes of getting some national media attention on this travesty of justice motivated by the Oil Lobby and right-wing politics.
We simply cannot let Tim go to jail for THAT!
You will recall Tim DeChristopher is the University of Utah student who disrupted a last minute, illegal oil and gas lease give-away auction of pristine public land in Utah last December. Timeline here.
Never mind that the auction was declared illegal Never mind that no one has ever been prosecuted for not paying for BLM leases awarded at auction. Never mind that we raised the money to pay the leases and the BLM rejected it and is now demanding Tim pay an $81,000 fine.
With all the political under currents at play, it’s impossible to predict the outcome. We know Matheson has submitted candidate names for replacement US Attorneys. We also know that an unnamed oil lobbyist knew about the indictment before Tim’s lawyer did.
We as citizens of this planet understand that Tim’s actions symbolize something much larger than a dysfunctional government auction but a corrupted system catering to old dirty energy. This fossil fuel pathway is the same one that will lead us over the climate tipping point if we do not ALL peacefully object to its destructive course. Our collective future is at stake, we must stand in solidarity with Tim to advocate for the world we want to see our children grow up in today or face the largest regret in human history tomorrow. Thank you ALL (and a special thanks to Michael Raysses for his great and ‘rescued diary‘ –Anatomy of a Clusterfuck)
…and of course JohnnyRook RIP