On December 19, 2008 Tim DeChristopher took bold action to stop an illegal auction of public land in southern Utah to private oil and gas developers, posing as a bidder and out bidding company representatives.
When it became known that Tim was a University of Utah college student who intended to disrupt the auction, he was arrested. Tim was charged with two felonies and facing ten years in prison.
Tim's sentencing is today.
Even though the auction was declared illegitimate and even though Tim offered to pay for the land he purchased the US Government means to make a case out of him. The prosecution is urging Judge Dee Benson to give Tim a heavy sentence.
Rather than embracing free speech and supporting peaceful protest to protect our planet, the government is using these scare tactics to prevent others from taking non-violent direct action for the planet.
I work with college students to shut down campus coal plants across the nation and I have seen first-hand how Tim can inspire and mobilize a community, at places like Michigan State University. Tim is a compassionate, intelligent person who brings hope and inspiration to every person he meets. His vision for this planet, for climate justice is breathtaking. I agree with 350.org founder Bill McKibben. Tim deserves a medal for his leadership, not jail time.
Our leaders in Washington should learn a couple of lessons from Tim (e.g., how to enact change peacefully and how to stand up to dirty energy).
We cannot let a hero like Tim be punished. We must praise him for his work protecting the planet. We must not be intimidated by our government or dirty energy corporations. It’s up to you and me to stand strong with Tim, continue engaging in peaceful protest, and continue fighting for an end to dirty energy and a new clean, renewable energy future.
The entire world will be watching to see what happens at Tim's sentencing. Folks across the United States and as far away as Hungary and Ghana are holding solidarity actions calling for Tim’s freedom.
Join the international solidarity movement. Attend an event and share Tim’s story with EVERYONE you know.