Search results for 'Tim DeChristopher'

Tim DeChristopher’s Peaceful Uprising

21 Apr

Cross Posted from EcoWatch

By Wild Idaho Rising Tide

At a time when the debate over climate change is finally gaining post-election traction and hot topics such as fracking and theKeystone XL pipeline have captured public attention, the documentary Bidder 70 is poised to showcase a movement that has steadily gathered force, particularly among millenials, who harbor grave concerns for the increasingly perilous future. The feature-length documentary chronicles how renowned activist Tim DeChristopher’s civil disobedience blazed new opportunities for the climate justice movement.

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What Love Looks Like: A conversation with Tim DeChristopher by Terry Tempest Williams

30 Mar

Painting by Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the Truth

Cross-posted from Orion Magazine

FROM THE MOMENT I HEARD about Bidder #70 raising his paddle inside a BLM auction to outbid oil and gas companies in the leasing of Utah’s public lands, I recognized Tim DeChristopher as a brave, creative citizen-activist. That was on December 19, 2008, in Salt Lake City. Since that moment, Tim has become a thoughtful, dynamic leader of his generation in the climate change movement. While many of us talk about the importance of democracy, Tim has put his body on the line and is now paying the consequences.

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Tim DeChristopher Released to a Halfway House

30 Oct

Tim DeChristopher has safely arrived at a halfway house in Salt Lake City, UT where he will serve out the remainder of his two year sentence.  Contrary to recent media reports, DeChristopher has not been “released” and remains an inmate of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) until April 21, 2013.

As a federal inmate, DeChristopher cannot speak to media, and is not allowed visitors or media on the property of the halfway house without permission from the BOP.  We ask that media and supporters of DeChristopher respect these guidelines and contact Dylan Rose Schneider to submit media or visitation requests.

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Statement from Tim DeChristopher Regarding Decision on Appeal

28 Sep

Cross Posted from Peaceful Uprising

“After nearly four years in the criminal justice system and 14 months in prison, I have decided not to continue my appeal through the federal court system. I greatly appreciate the pro bono efforts of Ron Yengich, Liz Hunt and Pat Shea, who have defended me in the courts and articulated the issues of the case. I am also grateful for all the support I have received thoughout this process, especially from Peaceful Uprising and the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City.

 Throughout every stage of this legal process, it has been a predetermined  conclusion that I should be punished for standing up to the collusion between  government and corporations. Any potential discussion of ethics, justice or the  role of citizens has been banished from the court. The government insisted  on this back in 2009 when they wrote that such discussions should be  relegated to “the public square, not a court of law.” The first development in  this case was a preemptive motion by the government to limit our defense, setting the stage for the trivialities which followed. As a result, our  defense team has been restricted to debating a narrow range of technicalities  rather than the critical issues of the case.

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Ecoprisoner Tim DeChristopher moved to isolated confinement

28 Mar

Tim DeChristopher after bidding in the 2008 auction.

The following is a message from the group Peaceful Uprisings, who has coordinated much of the support for Tim DeChristopher who was arrested for disrupting a December 2008 oil and gas lease auction on public land in Utah, conducted by the Bureau of Land Management. In July 2011, Judge Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison:

“On the evening of Friday, March 9th, Tim was summarily removed from the Minimum Security Camp where he has been held since September 2011, and moved into the FCI Herlong’s Special Housing Unit (SHU). Tim was informed by Lieutenant Weirich that he was being moved to the SHU (also referred to as “the hole”) because an unidentified Congressman had called from Washington DC, complaining of an email that Tim had sent to a friend. Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own. For some absurd reason, this warrants an investigation. Tim will be held in isolated confinement until the investigation is concluded. There is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU, some waiting months for the conclusion of an investigation.


FCI Herlong, California, minimum security camp

In the SHU, Tim’s movements are severely restricted. In the past two weeks, he has been allowed out of his 8 X 10 cell (which he shares with another inmate) four times, each time for less than an hour. Tim is allowed one book in his cell, and four in his property locker.  His writing means are restricted to a thin ink cartridge which makes correspondence extremely difficult.   He can receive mail from the outside, but has no other form of communication other than 15 minutes of phone calls per month Continue reading

Deep Green Resistance joins anti-tar sands action in DC, hosts fundraiser for Tim DeChristopher

26 Aug

by Earth First! Journal

This Sunday, August 28, members of the newly-formed Deep Green Resistance (DGR) movement who have been taking part in the anti-tar sands civil disobedience actions at the White House are hosting a fundraiser at Busboys and Poets in DC (2021 14th st NW.) They’ll be raising funds to support Tim DeChristopher’s by showing Franklin Lopez’ film End:Civ at 8:30 p.m. A PDF of the flyer for the event and another DGR flyer circulating in DC can be found here.

Thus far the DGR movement, which spawned from a recent book by the same title, has only manifested in a handful of workshops and websites, leaving many who are active in existing radical environmental circles skeptical (but enthusiastic) about the concept getting off the ground. But it seems their strategy may be exiting the realm of theory and finally hitting the real world.

According to text on their recent flyer: “DGR’s strategy involves two separate parts of the movement—an aboveground and an underground. We are the aboveground and therefore our work is strictly limited to nonviolence. And in any resistance scenario, an underground dismantles the strategic infrastructure of power.

The aboveground’s connection to the underground part of the strategy is only in the realm of building public opinion on the need for an underground, while all its actions are strictly nonviolent. We believe, as Tim does, that our movements will have to do much more than we’ve done in the past in order to be successful.

DGR believes that an aboveground nonviolence movement can only succeed in its work if there are massive waves of nonviolent civil disobedience held at key nodes of industry in sustained campaigns.

Tim has shown the way, and we believe in our hearts that it is up to all of us who want to be effective to follow his lead. We think we can only succeed if thousands of people begin to make commitments for this type of action and a substantial number of those people will need to be willing to go to jail and to make other sacrifices, as Tim is doing.

And we believe it’s time to organize those campaigns. We see the DC Tar Sands Action as a powerful step in that direction. Visit our website to learn more and watch for our upcoming announcement of a next step on the path to stopping the Tar Sands and to building a more effective nonviolence movement!

Proceeds benefit Tim’s Legal Defense Fund. $5.00 – $100, Sliding Scale. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Tim DeChristopher is a climate activist currently in prison serving two years for a successful act of civil disobedience. When asked how he felt about going to jail, Tim said: “I think the consequence of not fighting back is far scarier than the consequence of going to prison for a few years.” For updates on Tim’s case, check here.

About END:CIV: “[The director,] Franklin López, is a fantastically talented filmmaker who has created a powerful and important film about the most important topic ever: how to stop this culture from killing the planet.” —Derrick Jensen

Tim DeChristopher to appeal conviction

3 Aug

But in the meantime, keep sending letters.

Packages are not allowed, only letters in regular envelopes addressed to the following: 

                                                    Tim DeChristopher
                                                     #2011 – 06916
                                                     c/o Davis County Correctional Facility
                                                     PO Box 130
                                                     Farmington, UT 84025

Keep up with Tim’s case at

Salt Lake City, UT—Attorneys for an environmental activist convicted of federal charges for derailing an oil and gas lease auction on public land are appealing his conviction and two-year prison sentence.

Tim DeChristopher’s attorneys filed a notice of appeal Monday in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court. The document says an appeal will be filed with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. DeChristopher was convicted in March of two felony counts for interfering with and making false representations at a government auction.

He ran up $1.8 million in false bids on parcels near Utah’ Arches and Canyonlands national parks. DeChristopher maintains his bids were an act of civil disobedience. Last week, a federal judge sentenced him to two years prison, three years of probation and a $10,000 fine.  Source

Tim DeChristopher Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

26 Jul

(Cross-posted from

Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in prison today at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse. He 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.

Federal prosecutors asked for Tim to receive an extra harsh prison sentence in an effort to intimidate the movement that stands with him. They hoped that by condemning him to years behind bars, they would “make an example out of him” and deter all of us from taking meaningful action. But Tim is already an example. He’s an example of the courageous acts that people across our movements are taking to fight for justice and a liveable future. We support Tim by continuing to organize. Our response to this sentence is an affirmation: we will not be intimidated.  What’s your response?

The government’s statement is clear. Tim has been sentenced to 2 years as punishment for his politics; for the uncompromising content of his speeches and organizing in the two years since his act of civil disobedience protected 150,000 acres of land. Ironically, his principled views and motivations behind his actions he took were never allowed to enter a courtroom, due to their “irrelevance.” In a highly political trial, the jury was unjustly stripped of its right to be their community’s conscience and manipulated into making a political prisoner of a peaceful and concerned young man.

Tim DeChristopher

Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams said, “To think that a young man in an act of conscience might [do any amount of time] in a federal prison for raising a paddle in an already illegal sale of oil and gas leases, compared to the CEO of BP or the financial wizards on Wall Street who have pocketed millions of dollars at our expense  – and who will never step into a court of law to even get their hands slapped, let alone go to jail, is an assault on democracy.”

She’s right. But we have the power to turn this assault on democracy into a battle for democracy. Today the Salt Lake City community is expressing both their love and their outrage.

Fossil fuel lobbyists knew that Tim would be indicted the evening before it was officially filed, Jury members explained that they were intimidated throughout the process. The fossil fuel industry should not control our justice system.

Unless we decide to respond accordingly, as Tim serves his time, the real criminals — the fossil fuel industry wrecking our planet and our communities — will continue to run free, unaccountable for the countless oil spills, asthma attacks, contaminated waterways, cancer clusters, and carbon seeping into the air we breathe every day. If the justice system is intent on prosecuting the people protecting rather than pillaging the planet, we must confront the real criminals ourselves. With our heads held high, we continue to stand on the moral high-ground – and will do what’s right, despite the consequences. We know that mother nature’s consequences of inaction are far harsher than any imposed by a court system.

But we are not isolated individuals. We come together with our communities as groups of empowered agents of change who know our system is broken and does not represent us. Our communities represent us, and our vision of a resilient, just, and sustainable world that we are fighting for.

Tim’s sentence is a call to action.

For those of us who’ve been following his story fervently, our hearts were broken today. It is a sad moment. But we now have an opportunity and a responsibility to act on those feelings of hurt and outrage. For Tim’s sacrifice to truly mean something, for the spark it ignites in each of us to burn, we all must take action.

2011 has already become a year of peaceful uprisings around the country. As Tim once said, we were never promised that it would be easy. We know it will take courage, sacrifice and a willingness to sustain our resistance in our fight for real Justice. Tim has taken a step and we will take the next thousand.

Here are a few upcoming action opportunities to join:

We’ll see you on the streets,

—Peaceful Uprising and Tim’s community of courage.

Tim DeChristopher sentencing set for next week

22 Jul

Prosecutors unhappy about recommendations of less than 10-year maximum as a result of bidding on oil and gas leases to stall extraction in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Federal prosecutors don’t like the sentencing recommendations made for an environmental activist convicted of interfering with a government auction of oil and natural-gas leases near two of Utah’s national parks. Papers filed in Salt Lake City’s U.S. District Court on Tuesday show the U.S. Probation Office report for Tim DeChristopher recommends a sentence that is less than the 10-year maximum.

Prosecutors argue the report incorrectly calculates the harm caused when DeChristopher ran up the price of 13 oil and gas leases near Utah’s Arches and Canyonlands national parks to push the land beyond the reach of other buyers in December 2008. Details of presentence reports are not made public by the courts, but the filing from prosecutors suggests the recommendations give the 29-year-old DeChristopher credit for taking responsibility for his actions.

DeChristopher, who knew he didn’t have the money to cover the bids, has never denied his crimes and has said his actions were an act of civil disobedience. In March, a federal jury took five hours to convict DeChristopher on felony counts of interfering with and making false representations at a government auction. Sentencing will be July 26.

“He lied, obstructed lawful government proceedings and caused extraordinary loss to others. Unilaterally, he played out the parts of accuser, jury and judge as he determined the fate of the oil and gas lease auction and its intended participants that day,” prosecutors said in court documents.

Prosecutors contend DeChristopher should be awarded a “significant” prison term and held accountable for losses that include $139,000 in Bureau of Land Management auction costs, the $1.8 million price of his successful fake bids and the estimated losses of businesses that sought to buy leases – one bidder estimates his personal loss at $600,000, court papers say.

Defense attorneys deny DeChristopher caused any harm and argue instead that his bidding benefited the government.

“DeChristopher actually made money for the federal government, perhaps more than $300,000,” the defense said in its court filings. “The bidders who bid on and won the parcels after DeChristopher’s bidding were given the opportunity by BLM officials to renege on their purchases, but opted not to …”

The defense also argues that effort by DeChristopher to make some payment on the parcels he won were inexplicably rejected by the government.

DeChristopher’s actions have made him a hero among some environmentalists and have drawn the attention of celebrities like Daryl Hannah, Robert Redford and Peter Yarrow of the 1960s folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City shows solidarity with Tim DeChristopher

The trial drew hundreds of supporters to colorful courthouse rallies organized by members of DeChristopher’s own Salt Lake City nonprofit group Peaceful Uprising. Supporters wore orange sashes as a symbol of solidarity, acted out scenes from the trial with giant puppets and sang protest songs.

Read full article from the Durango Herald

Six Utah climate activists connected to Timothy DeChristopher arrested at U.S. Capitol

21 Apr

From The Salt Lake Tribune

Six Utahns associated with climate activist and convicted energy lease auction imposter Tim DeChristopher were among 30 arrested in and around the U.S. Capitol in recent days for disrupting government activities, including House floor debate.

DeChristopher wasn’t among those arrested, though he and 12 other members of Salt Lake City’s climate-action group Peaceful Uprising are in Washington for a “Power Shift” clean-energy conference. DeChristopher spoke to activists at the conference and said that “the climate-change movement has done too much compromising,” said the group’s co-director, Flora Bernard.

That message echoes an impassioned defense of civil disobedience that he gave on the U.S. District Court steps in Salt Lake City after his felony conviction for placing bogus bids at a U.S. Bureau of Land Management lease auction.

“If we’re going to achieve our vision,” he said when his trial ended March 3, “many after me will have to join me as well.”

At the time, members of Peaceful Uprising and his First Unitarian Church congregation said they were willing to face arrest to challenge the fossil-fuel economy that they believe is quickly destroying the planet.

Read the rest of the article here.