Its been my great honor getting to know Tim DeChristopher since his brilliant act of civil disobedience. But it is especially sobering to consider that he could easily end up in prison. I understand, the willingness to suffer years of incarceration is part of the romanticism of civil disobedience. But it this case, it would send a devastating signal to this generation.
One of Tim's most ardent and more senior supporters chaffed at the decision to raise money to cover the $45,000 bond on the leases exclaiming, "What's the point of civil disobedience if you're not willing to go to jail?"
Just the day before, after meeting with the lawyers, Tim quietly corrected me when I used the word 'jail'. "It's federal prison" he reminded me. That hit me like a ton of bricks. Tim is your average exceptionally bright, humble and brave guy trying to do the right thing and suddenly faced with years in a federal prison.
Tim is at the mercy of a politically motivated federal prosecutor in a state that - lets get serious - HATES environmentalists and loves Oil & Gas jobs. If you need to be reminded, take a moment to review a few Utahn's sentiments toward Robert Redford.
"Please know that by stopping the gas and oil development many families and communities will be hurt tremendously." "Interesting that all these rich people are so 'for the environment' and so out of touch of the rest of the people, their neighbor, brother, sister, other human beings. At what point are they going to get it (probably never) that PEOPLE and their livelihoods are more important." "Can you say elitist snobs or environmental hippocrites [sic]?"
Unfortunately, we are not dealing with a simple matter of right and wrong or of justice and law. Tim is facing a complex combination of forces uninterested in the future and welfare of a college student who acted out of frustration by the failure of an entire movement to stop eight years of a devastating and illegal assault on the environment by the Bush administration.
Tim's generation is looking at a worldwide scientific community telling us its probably too late; that the environment is past the tipping point. Tim's generation has two choices: become hysterical, or do nothing. We wonder why today's youth are so apathetic.
Lets send a message to Tim's generation by doing everything we can to keep him out of 'prison.' The alternative will not only destroy Tim's life, and justify the apathy, but it will also signal an entire generation to just give up.
Read Tim's letter. PLEASE! Steal these buttons for your website/email.
Mail checks to: Center for Water Advocacy, P.O. Box 331, Moab, UT 84532
© January 4, 2009 Cliff Lyon
4 CommentsAdd Comment
Patricia Muller wrote:
Thanks for your courage and commitment to our planet.January 4, 2009 | 3:51 pm
Jed Miller wrote:
The minute I read about your act and predicament I thought that the best thing to do was to try and raise the money to pay off the leases. For me this is not just about the environment. This is also about the less rich and less powerful joining forces to assert our will and desires over those who are, singularly, more rich and more powerful. Think about it everyone. If this act results in raising $10 million what kind of message will it send? And the message is not only sent to the rich and powerful, but also to everyone like you and I so we can see that we can unite and take control. Lets just be smart (smarter) about any control we gain! Good on ya Tim!January 5, 2009 | 11:59 am
Julianne Waters wrote:
We are coming together as activists, realizing that grassroots means All of us. Tim represents us all, in our frustration with the failed systems of the world. He also represents hope & solutions. As of this writing, over $28,000 has been raised by hundreds of people. The statement is being made, We are the people we've been waiting for! And Now is the Time!January 5, 2009 | 9:08 pm
Chinle Miller wrote:
For Tim and whoever did this website and his other supporters: The tide is turning, there is hope again for those of us who believe the earth is not our playground, but a place sacred to all life. We must do all we can to preserve it, thank you for your bold and brave action.January 12, 2009 | 9:41 am