Gratitude to All Who Stand Up to Resist Injustice

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  ~James Baldwin

“Action is the antidote to despair.”  ~Joan Baez

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Mead

Tens of thousands of us have stood up this year and changed the global analysis and understanding of inequality, wealth accumulation and corporate greed and power. Ten of thousands of us have said enough is enough and brought change to our communities, cities and countries.

We here at Global Exchange offer gratitude to all those who have stood up to resist injustice, envision alternatives and take action. Together we are part of monumental shift, and there is no turning back.

We thank:

  • The change makers in Egypt: Thank you to the courageous demonstrators in Egypt whose force grew into a movement that brought about the end of Mubarak’s regime and more recently the military offering its resignation We’re inspired by your bravery, determination, and sheer numbers.
  • Those who saw that Chevron was found guilty: Thank you to indigenous community members and human rights and environmental justice advocates who worked together to ensure Chevron was brought to justice in an Ecuadorian court. The battle may not be over, but it took courage and conviction to get this far. We hope that BP is also held accountable.
  • Unionists and allies in Wisconsin: Thank you to the protesters who occupied the State Capitol Building in Madison, Wisconsin in attempt to stop the bill that curbs the bargaining rights of most state workers (now signed by Governor Walker). With efforts now underway to reclaim democracy, we support your efforts, voice and action.
  • Climate Activist Tim deChristopher: Thanks for your simple act of civil disobedience to scupper a controversial auction of thousands of acres of land, to protect it from false leases that would have been snapped up by gas and oil companies for exploitation. We send solidarity to you, as you serve the 2 year sentence in jail.
  • Money Movers and Shakers: Thanks to…
    · 22 year old Molly Katchpole who single-handedly launched a successful petition against Bank of America;
    · Move Your Money and other likeminded organizations that helped US bank account holders break up with their bank and move their money from big corporate banks to local credit unions where people are account holders AND owners.
  • Stop Keystone XL Activists: Thanks to the 1253 of you who were arrested in late summer at the White House, the 350 of you who were arrested in late September in Ottawa, the dozens of action teams who followed President Obama this fall, the12,000 of you who surrounded the White House in November, and the massive organizing effort of the Tar Sands Action crew. By making approval of the Keystone XL pipeline impossible to President Obama, we delayed a decision on this pipeline which would have opened up the tar sands in Alberta to an addition 900 000 barrels of oil extraction a day. We know we will stop this.
  • Javier Sicilia and the new peace movement in Mexico: Thank you for building a movement to free Mexico from the spiraling violence of the ‘war on drugs.’ We are grateful for your immense courage, dignity and integrity in the face of unspeakable horrors.
  • Gaza Freedom Flotilla: Thanks to activists aboard the Audacity of Hope and other boats in the Freedom Flotilla for your non-violent efforts this spring to bring needed humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza while striving to lift the illegal siege of Gaza and achieve freedom for the Palestinian people. 
  • Occupiers of Wall Street and Beyond: Thanks to the 99% who are standing up and taking action to say Enough is Enough. On Nov. 15th Berkeley professor Robert Reich shared with the Occupy Cal crowd these words:

Moral outrage is the beginning. The days of apathy are over, folks. And once it has begun it cannot be stopped and it will not be stopped.

Surely he is correct.

Who are you thankful for? What is the next victory and who will make it happen?

Tim DeChristopher rally in San Francisco

Would you risk up to 10 years of jail time to take action around climate change? If you’re climate activist Tim DeChristopher, the answer is yes.

Tim DeChristopher was sentenced today to 2 years in prison and fined $10,000, after facing up to 10 years in federal prison and a $750,000 fine for being found guilty on March 3rd of one count of violating the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act and one count of False Statement.

Tim DeChristopher outside of Salt Lake City court house Photo Credit: Peaceful Uprising

Tim (aka bidder #70) disrupted a controversial auction of Utah public lands and won $2.7 million in oil & gas leases despite not having the funds to pay for them right away in a creative nonviolent act to protect land from destructive oil and gas extraction.

Following the sentencing today, according to Peaceful Uprising’s website, Tim was taken immediately into custody, being denied the typical 3 weeks afforded to put his affairs in order and say goodbye to his friends and family.

“I’m not saying there isn’t a place for civil disobedience,” U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said, “but it can’t be the order of the day.”

Here’s more on this controversial auction and subsequent conviction from Peaceful Uprising:

DeChristopher was convicted of two felonies in March of 2011 after registering as a “good faith” bidder and outbidding oil and gas energy giants without intention or means to pay for the parcels he won. The auction was later overturned by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who ruled that the majority of parcels had not undergone adequate review. Despite cancelling the auction, the Obama administration proceeded to indict DeChristopher, whose trial and sentencing has continually been rescheduled for the last two and a half years. Judge Dee Benson ruled early on that Salazar’s dismissal of the auction and DeChristopher’s motivation would not be admissible in court during his trial.

Salt Lake City protestors Photo Credit: Cori Redstone/@CRedstone via Twitter


On sentencing day today, almost 3 years since the auction that landed DeChristopher in jail took place, people attended solidarity actions throughout the country to show their support for Tim DeChristopher.

In Salt Lake City where the sentencing took place, protestors shut down traffic in an act of non-violent protest.

San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos speaks to the crowd

I went to the  rally in San Francisco, along with folks from Rainforest Action Network, Peaceful Uprising and Justice in Nigeria NOW.

San Francisco Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) John Avalos was also there and delivered a speech that began with “it’s an honor to be here on behalf of bidder #70 Tim DeChristopher” and included “I’m glad to be standing here in support of Tim.” (The microphone was powered by that bike pictured in the photo background.)

San Francisco rally today


Visit Peaceful Uprising’s website for action alerts, information & more!

Follow on Twitter: A great way to find out Tim DeChristopher news and solidarity actions is to follow the hashtag #Bidder70 on Twitter.

Watch Tim DeChristopher’s sobering keynote speech (below) from Powershift 2011:

What actions are you willing to take to fight for justice and a liveable future? You already know Tim’s answer.