Tim DeChristopher — who as Bidder #70 protested a December 19, 2008 sale of Bureau of Land Management oil and gas leases in Utah’s redrock country by bidding $1.8 million for 22,500 acres although he had no money or intent to buy the leases — was sentenced to 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on July 26. He was jailed immediately and is now in a Federal prison in California. His spontaneous and unconventional action brought attention to these illegal sales that were later invalidated. Salt Lake City police arrested 26 protesters who blocked a road after the sentence was announced. Tim got one of the longest prison sentences yet for a peaceful direct action to protest climate change and the corporate/government policies that are causing it. People around the world are organizing to support Tim while he’s in jail, support his appeal, continue his struggle to stop climate change, and promote alternatives to fossil fuels.
Tim read a long inspirational statement before he was sentenced. He noted: “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. The choice you are making today is what side are you on. . . .
“Those who are inspired to follow my actions are those who understand that we are on a path toward 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.”
Write Tim at: Tim DeChristopher #16156-081, PO Box 800, Herlong, CA 96113. Check Bidder70.org for updates. Send donations to Tim DeChristopher Legal Defense Fund c/o Pat Shea 252 S. 1300 E., Suite A Salt Lake City, Utah 84102.