In its closing days, the Bush administration presided over a reckless land grab on the part of private oil and gas developers upon some of our countries most pristine public lands. One such auction took place in Utah in 2008 and offered up for bid several parcels of remarkably beautiful land adjacent to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. On the day of this illegal auction, peaceful activist Tim DeChristopher spontaneously entered the auction house and registered himself as bidder 70. Tim boldly began outbidding the oil and gas companies for these parcels of land in an effort to prevent the atrocity from being allowed to continue. Tim’s very brave action worked and the auction was invalidated as a result.
In the early days of the Obama administration, interior secretary Ken Salazar removed these lands from auction permanently, chastising the previous administration for its polices which led to these auctions in the first place. Subsequently, Tim DeChristopher, refusing to accept a plea deal, has been tried and convicted of two felony counts for his peaceful act of civil disobedience. He now faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
I think most reasonable people agree that this is a clear case of the justice system failing to deliver any form of impartial justice. Nationwide, a ground swell of support is growing to not only stand up in solidarity with Tim but finally begin to stand together in opposition to all such actions which are unquestionably and permanently putting the future of the planet at risk. For those interested in standing with us on June 23rd, you can visit peacefuluprising.org to learn more.