Tim DeChristopher will be sentenced on July 26 after being found guilty of one count of violating the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act, and one count of False Statement March 3rd. He participated in the auction “won” $2.7 million in oil & gas leases in a brave creative nonviolent act to protect land from destructive oil and gas extraction. He is now facing 10 years in federal prison.
Flora Bernard, Co-Director of Peaceful Uprising, shares her thoughts about Tim DeChristopher’s prosecution:
When I first joined Peaceful Uprising, I didn’t know Tim DeChristopher. I was aware of the creative and bold action he took to derail an illegal, immoral federal auction of thousands of acres of Utah’s most cherished public lands. More importantly, I knew that Tim sees the climate crisis as the most urgent and universal issue of our era, and recognizes the need for more confrontational actions—the kind that require real sacrifice. That was enough for me to stand with Tim, and commit to fighting the industry and politics that continue to forfeit our living world and value profits over people.
Over the years, Tim and I have become close friends. As his sentencing date draws nearer every moment, I have a hard time believing that this honest, kind, hardworking, and relentlessly intelligent young man could actually spend time in a federal penitentiary for such a selfless, ingenious, peaceful and morally upright action.
Those of us who have followed Tim’s prosecution since his action in late December of 2008 are well aware that this is a purely political case. The federal government knows that this is a lose-lose situation for the prosecution; whatever sentence they give Tim will only galvanize and further empower climate justice activists. The prosecution’s attempts to disperse or dissipate solidarity, awareness, and actions around Tim’s trial failed, time and time again. Tim’s supporters recognize that the government is attempting to intimidate others from taking similarly bold action to combat the climate crisis. Our response will be one of continued joy and resolve: we will not be deterred in our fight for a just and healthy world. We refuse to be intimidated by an unjust system; one that seems hell-bent on condemning our generation and future generations to an unlivable climate and a ruined planet.
On July 26th, we will stand in solidarity with Tim. And regardless of what happens to Tim in that courtroom, we will continue to fight—for our climate, our planet, our right to our public lands and shared natural resources, and our future. I can’t think of a more meaningful way to honor Tim’s sacrifice than to continue to empower activists to take effective, nonviolent action, and make sacrifices of our own for the cause and the values we all share with Tim DeChristopher.
We here at Global Exchange encourage you to take action in support of climate justice, Tim DeChristopher, and the rights of nature. Global Exchange works to promote the Rights of Nature and encourage communities to take action to protect land, nature and livelihood before oil and gas companies ‘bid’ for their ‘right’ to exploitation. When corporate executives decide to site an unwanted project in our communities, we are told we cannot say “no,” because that would be a violation of the corporation’s Constitutional rights. But we can rally to assert our rights to truly govern in the places where we live. Find out more here.
TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORT OF TIM DECHRISTOPHER
Tim and the folks at Peaceful Uprising in Utah are listing actions across the country to take on the day of Tim’s sentencing for folks who wish to participate in non violent actions and support climate justice and Tim. Below are some of those actions:
But first, check out this video of Tim speaking after his verdict for some inspiration:
Ok, now it’s time to get busy on these actions:
1) WRITE LETTERS TO MEDIA EDITORS – print or online The goal is to flood the press leading up to July 26th. You can use this letter to the editor template, these tips on writing a letter to the editor, and these talking points as tools to buttress your own personal perspective.
2) JOIN OR ORGANIZE A SOLIDARITY EVENT See the map to find a non-violent solidarity event at your nearest federal district court to join in or if there isn’t already an action near you organize your own and register it.
3) SPREAD THE WORD Publicize on social media (e.g., facebook and twitter). Simply click the “Share” and “Retweet” buttons next to this blog post!
Visit Peaceful Uprising’s website for other ways to spread the word and to find updated information.