“This is what hope looks like from now on. This is what patriotism looks like. This is what love looks like..”
July 27, 2011
Tim DeChristopher has been sentenced to 24 months in prison, with a 10,000 dollar fine.
Time to re-read Thoreau. The idea of civil disobedience is not that one magically escapes punishment, due to ‘good intentions”. Thoreau went to prison, and famously asked Emerson why he, too, was not there.
Courts and Judges will do what they do, and breaking the law has consequences. But the purpose here is to shine a light, through the depth of one’s own commitment, on ignorance, injustice, or on violations of a laws higher
than our own.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A sentencing hearing turned into a rally supporting an environmental activist who has become an antihero after disrupting a government auction of oil and gas leases near two national parks in Utah.
Protesters gathered around the courthouse and dozens were arrested Tuesday as Tim DeChristopher launched into a lengthy address urging others fight climate change by taking similar steps of civil disobedience.
But U.S. District Judge Dee Benson said there was no excuse for the 29-year-old former wilderness guide’s blatant disrespect for the rule of law.
Benson sentenced DeChristopher to two years in prison on Tuesday, making him the first person to be prosecuted for failing to make good on bids at a lease auction of Utah public lands. He ran up bids on 13 parcels totaling more than 22,000 acres near Arches and Canyonlands national parks in 2008.
“You have authority over my life, but not my principles. Those are mine,” DeChristopher said. “I’ll continue to confront the system that threatens our future.”
Tim DeChristopher’s mouth — and not just his 2008 disruption of a federal oil and gas lease auction — landed him behind bars Tuesday, a judge said as he slapped the activist with a two-year prison term.
The incarceration of the burgeoning folk hero among climate activists set off anger inside the courtroom and a concerted protest outside that ended in more than two dozen arrests.
U.S. District Judge Dee Benson pointed to DeChristopher’s continued defiance and frequent assertions to reporters that civil disobedience is justified in fighting climate change. He mentioned DeChristopher’s speech after his March conviction, in which the activist implored others to buck the system.