tim-deChristopher

Once I realized that there was no hope in any sort of normal future, there’s no hope for me to have anything my parents or grandparents would have considered a normal future-of a career and a retirement and all that stuff-I realized that I absolutely nothing to lose by fighting back. Because it was all going to be lost anyways.
—  Tim DeChristopher What Love Looks Like: A conversation between Terry Tempest Williams and Tim DeChristopher. Orion Magazine, January/February 2012
Tim DeChristopher Backs Huntsman for President?

Climate advocate Tim DeChristopher (currently serving jail time for an act of civil disobedience) wrote an op-ed to Grist.org encouraging other environmentalists to “play dirty” and throw their support behind Jon Huntsman instead of Barack Obama. 

Seriously:

The climate movement could also rock the boat by campaigning for Jon Huntsman right now. Aside from playing dirty, I genuinely believe that Jon Huntsman would make a better president than Obama. While Huntsman was my governor, I saw him show integrity in the face of a Utah state legislature that makes the U.S. House look sane. Huntsman took very public steps to address climate change even while the legislature passed a bill that literally said the science of climate change was a U.N. conspiracy to limit human population. He has guts, which is more than anyone can say for Obama, who has demonstrated the wisdom of Edward Abbey’s words, “Without courage, all other virtues are worthless.” If Huntsman wanted an endorsement from a lefty activist felon in prison, he would have it.

I don’t think Huntsman particularly cares for DeChristoper’s endorsement, but this still brings up an interesting idea. Would the environmentalist movement really begin to gain some political clout if withdrawing their support for Obama causes him to lose the election? 

DeChristopher seems to think so:

Of course Huntsman can’t win his party’s batshit crazy primary. But building political power is all about looking beyond the next election. Very public support for Huntsman from the climate movement could create some interesting public discussion about how the Dems have failed to address the climate crisis. Campaigning for Huntsman might also scare Obama enough that he takes some steps over the next year to try to win us back..

But come 2012, the climate movement will still face that arrogant taunt, “Whaddaya gonna do? Let a Republican win?” If this movement is ever going to get serious political power, the answer needs to be yes. This is where things get dirty. Like any abusive relationship, this movement will always be taken for granted if it’s not willing to turn its back on Obama. He needs to lose, and everyone needs to know it was us.

Definitely an interesting tactic, although I don’t know how many participants of the climate movement would willingly abstain from supporting the Democratic presidential nominee to play dirty politics. 

Maybe Obama will get scared and do some last minute pandering to secure the environmentalist vote. Rolling Stone has already laid out 10 things Obama could do to help the environment without waiting for congress. (Coincidentally, one of them happens to be pardoning Tim DeChristopher for posing a bidder to prevent the federal auction of land in Utah’s national parks for oil drilling.)


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Tim DeChristopher out-bidding the oil companies for pristine southern Utah. THAT was magic. He called the auctioneers on their theatre, and taught us all how naked the Emperor had become. His hex-prayer was to just recite higher and higher numbers of imaginary wealth. His jail time will have its magic too, and we will walk in the land he saved. Here is is ascending to Fabulous Sainthood on the Earthalujah altar…

Watch on proactivism.tumblr.com

“Given the destruction of our democratic institutions that once gave citizens access to power, my future will likely involve civil disobedience. Nothing that happens here today will change that. I don’t mean that in any sort of disrespectful way at all, but you don’t have that authority. You have authority over my life, but not my principles. Those are mine alone.

I’m not saying any of this to ask you for mercy, but to ask you to join me. If you side with Mr Huber and believe that your role is to discourage citizens from holding their government accountable, then you should follow his recommendations and lock me away. I certainly don’t want that. I have no desire to go to prison, and any assertion that I want to be even a temporary martyr is false. I want you to join me in standing up for the right and responsibility of citizens to challenge their government. I want you to join me in valuing this country’s rich history of nonviolent civil disobedience. ”

—Tim DeChristopher
Activist was sentenced to 2 years in prison for stopping an illegal auction of federal lands to oil developers in 2008.

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Tim DeChristopher’s sentencing has been rescheduled for July 26 - possibly because such a large number of people were gathering for the previously scheduled sentencing today. In this time of corruption and compromise, Tim is a beacon of light that will lead the way! Here he is accepting Fabulous Sainthood at The Church of Earthalujah. Amen!

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Anonymous congressman’s complaint allegedly sends environmental activist to isolated confinement -

When I am more awake, I am going to have to figure out some way to express my anger over this…

If true, that a civil disobedient could be subjected to these conditions is bad enough, but the explanation DeChristopher’s allies have provided for his transfer from a minimum security camp is more disturbing. According to the statement,

Tim was informed by Lieutenant Weirich that he was being moved to [isolation confinement] because an unidentified congressman had called from Washington D.C., complaining of an e-mail that Tim had sent to a friend. Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his legal fund contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own.

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“Other people are going to have to fill that role while I’m in prison. Peaceful Uprising has been building and maturing over these last 2.5 years and I think has built some strong leaders.. And I think we’re going to see that, more and more around the country. If a movement’s dependent on one person, it’s going to fail.” The time is now. 


More generally, the question of whether civil disobedience is good for the public is a matter of perspective. Civil disobedience is inherently an attempt at change. Those in power, whom Mr Huber represents, are those for whom the status quo is working, so they always see civil disobedience as a bad thing. The decision you are making today, your honor, is what segment of the public you are meant to protect.
—  Tim DeChristopher, who was sentenced Tuesday to two years in federal prison and a $10,000 fine for ‘disrupting’ a Bureau of Land Management auction in 2008, had an opportunity to address the court and the judge immediately before his sentence was announced.
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MONKEYWRENCHER/ECO-WARRIOR  Tim DeChristopher, the college student who sabotaged an outgoing Bush administration Bureau of Land Management oil and gas management auction which was eventually found to be illegal, will be released from a halfway house today after spending 2 years incarcerated.  His bold and defiant act?  Bidding $1.8 million to save more than 22,000 acres of Utah’s red rock wilderness from the destructive hands of the oil and gas companies who are raping the planet.

Tomorrow, for Earth Day, a documentary about his remarkable story will be screened nationwide, followed by a live-streaming hour-long Q&A with Tim.   

“Those who are inspired to follow my actions are those who understand that we are on a path towards catastrophic consequences of climate change.  They know their future, and the future of their loved ones, is on the line.  And they know we are running out of time to turn things around.  The closer we get to that point where it’s too late, the less people have to lose by fighting back.  The power of the Justice Department is based on its ability to take things away from people.  The more that people feel that they have nothing to lose, the more that power begins to shrivel.  The people who are committed to fighting for a livable future will not be discouraged or intimidated by anything that happens here today.”  

“And neither will I.  I will continue to confront the system that threatens our future.  Given the destruction of our democratic institutions that once gave citizens access to power, my future will likely involve civil disobedience.  Nothing that happens here today will change that.  I don’t mean that in any sort of disrespectful way at all, but you don’t have that authority.  You have authority over my life, but not my principles.  Those are mine alone.”

“You can steer my commitment to a healthy and just world if you agree with it, but you can’t kill it.  This is not going away.  At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like.  In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like.  With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow.”

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Let’s Win

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Scumbag Journalism, FBI Entrapment, Bradley Manning Unlawful Treatment

EPISODE BREAKDOWN [60]: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin highlights Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist who was sentenced to 2 years in prison for his protesting of continued environmental degradation. Abby then calls out the New York Post for a recent photograph on their front page that’s only another example of their sensationalized journalism. Then Abby interviews RT Web Producer, Andrew Blake, about the recent entrapment case of Ahmed Ferhani, and other FBI entrapment cases that represent the way the US fights the ‘War on Terror’. Abby then speaks to Journalist and Legal Researcher, Alexa O'Brien, about the latest developments in the Bradley Manning trial. BTS wraps up the show with a look that the 'School to Prison Pipeline’ as a dangerous trend plaguing the US educational system.

Personally, I’m a big Alyona Minkovski fan and thought RT would suffer when she left. Wrong.

change.org
Human Rights Petition: We Demand that Tim DeChristopher be Removed from Confined Isolation

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Tim DeChristopher has been pulled out of his minimum security camp at Herlong federal prison in California and thrown into isolated confinement in an 8 x 10-foot cell. His latest crime? Sending an email to a colleague with a “threat” to give back a $25,000 donation to his legal defense fund because he discovered that his donor was exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs.

In 2011, Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for having non-violently disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases in 2008. The auction itself was later found to have violated the government’s own rules and the parcels were pulled from the market. Tim was indicted a few months later even after the government removed the parcels. Judge Dee Benson said during sentencing that Tim would not be facing jail time if he had not been so outspoken as to the necessity for his actions.

When he heard about Tim’s email through unknown sources, an unnamed U.S. Congressman called and told prison officials that Tim was threatening people outside of prison. With that, Tim was hauled off to the Special Housing Unit known as “the hole,” where he has been ever since.

It is absurd that one phone call from an anonymous Congressman places Tim in indefinite confined isolation for exercising his First Amendment rights.

Tim will be in legal limbo until the investigation into the semantics of the word “threaten [to give back the donation]” in his email is complete. He will remain in indefinite detention in The Hole until that time and not granted a hearing until the government’s investigation is complete.

Tim DeChristopher should never have been put in jail in the first place.Tim should not be in isolated confinement right now. Sign the petition and then call the following numbers and demand:

“Tim DeChristopher inmate #16156-081 be immediately removed from the Special Housing Unit (SHU) and placed back in the Minimum Security Camp at FCI Herlong.”

The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice. Where there is a conflict between the law and the higher moral code that we all share, my loyalty is to that higher moral code. I know Mr Huber disagrees with me on this. He wrote that “The rule of law is the bedrock of our civilized society, not acts of ‘civil disobedience’ committed in the name of the cause of the day.” That’s an especially ironic statement when he is representing the United States of America, a place where the rule of law was created through acts of civil disobedience. Since those bedrock acts of civil disobedience by our founding fathers, the rule of law in this country has continued to grow closer to our shared higher moral code through the civil disobedience that drew attention to legalized injustice. The authority of the government exists to the degree that the rule of law reflects the higher moral code of the citizens, and throughout American history, it has been civil disobedience that has bound them together.
—  Tim DeChristopher after receiving his sentence for disrupting an illegal BLM auction