Tim DeChristopher

I hadn’t heard of Tim DeChristopher’s case until today, the day of his sentence to 2 years in federal prison for disrupting a BLM auction of gas/oil leases after his trial on the charges. Here is just one of the many great quotes, included in the text of his speech – “The reality is not that I lack respect for the law; it’s that I have greater respect for justice.” (Tim DeChristopher at his sentencing on 7/26/11.)

Mr. DeChristopher is articulate, informed, and involved. He stands as a pillar of nobility amidst a system wrought with corruption. He is the essence of civil disobedience, in my eyes, and is a voice I would love to give audience to, and so, I write about him here. I am not the only one. The LA Times article was releasee about an hour ago. I don’t have staff, so it will take me a little longer.

What does he have to do with Big Sur? I have been writing about the fracking BLM project out by Bradley/San Ardo. Also reporting on the actions of the local activist email campaign out of Lockwood, also home to Steve Craig, local activist, and HOLD-ON. Mr. DeChristopher’s speech is applicable to what I have written before and the concerns I have expressed over the fraking gas leases the BLM has over in Southern Monterey County. It is concerns like these, which Mr. DeChristopher expressed not just in words, but in actions – peaceful actions of telling truth to power. Now, he will be spending the next 2 years in federal prison.

In 2008, Mr. DeChristopher went to a public auction of BLM leases for oil/gas. He filled out the form that he was a bona fide bidder. The leases generally went for $12 an acre – except for the ones DeChristopher bid on. Those fetched $125 an acre. He was charged with disrupting this meeting.

Mr. DeChristopher is a climate activist on the board of peacefuluprising.org

His entire speech can be found there, on commondreams.org, as well as on americanswhotellthetruth.org I urge you to read it, and to show you why, here are just a FEW of my favorite quotes from today’s speech:

” … disagreement with the law should not be confused with disrespect for the law.”

“When a corrupted government is no longer willing to uphold the rule of law, I advocate that citizens step up to that responsibility.”

“The rule of law is dependent upon a government that is willing to abide by the law. Disrespect for the rule of law begins when the government believes itself and its corporate sponsors to be above the law.”

” My future, and the future of everyone I care about, is being traded for short term profits. I take that very personally. Until our leaders take seriously their responsibility to pass on a healthy and just world to the next generation, I will continue this fight.”

“But the speech [he gave on the day of his conviction, and which was only quoted to the extent of 1/2 of one sentence] was about empowerment. It was about recognizing our interconnectedness rather than viewing ourselves as isolated individuals. The message of the speech was that when people stand together, they no longer have to be exploited by powerful corporations. Alienation is perhaps the most effective tool of control in America, and every reminder of our real connectedness weakens that tool.”

“At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like. In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like. With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow. The choice you are making today is what side are you on.”

Whew! I wish I could write like that, and I could go on for pages just pulling a few of my favorite quotes. I hope I chose the “right” quotes to get you interested in reading this speech given today.

Spread the word. Make sure his words are quoted wherever you have a voice.

The full and complete version can be found many places, three of which are: peacefuluprising.org, americanswhotellthetruth.org, or commondreams.org

I happened to find it here: Tim DeChristopher speech

Formulate your own opinion. Read the entire speech. I dare you!

10 thoughts on “Tim DeChristopher

  1. Kate, I had never heard of Tim Christopher prior to reading your post, but am shouting “Here! Here!” from way across the country in Florida (on the other coast). I am going to share a link to this post, and some of the quotes above, on my Facebook page and on my blog. Tim has eloquently expressed exactly what I have been sensing but have not been able to articulate. I hope this sharing is OK with you.

    I found your blog when I visited the Monterey Bay area last year. I arrived in CA the same day of the PCH collapse at Big Sur. I was reading a newspaper while waiting for a prescription refill and there was an article about you and your blog. I’ve been a follower since that day. I will read more about Tim’s story now; he has the right idea of peaceful civil disobedience – and the timing (in the midst of this debt ceiling mess) is perfect.

    Thank you for sharing. I will spread the word as far as I’m able.

  2. Thanks for sharing the news about Tim DeChristopher. I read the whole speech and encourage others to do the same. It is sad that his characterization of present conditions in our country, as shared in his speech, is accurate and valid. And equally disappointing that our government feels it necessary to punish him for his efforts to protect the interests of the public.

  3. I wonder if the Judge listened. Tim gave him viable alternatives to prison. I don’t know why he didn’t use one of them.

  4. Hi Kate. I’ve been following Tim DeChristopher ever since his Bidder 70 action was first covered by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now!. I’ve blogged about him several times. I support his actions fully–and his co-founding of Peaceful Uprising. IF you thought the speeches you’ve quoted are good the you’re going to be very interested in his recent letter from prison posted on Grist and increasingly elsewhere. He put is ALL on the line with NO regrets for his personal action to save the land during that illegal auction open mainly to oil and gas developers thanks to the Bush administration.
    I’m so glad YOU have discovered DeChristopher and that you’ve spread the word to your considerable Big Sur blog following. DeChristopher has not, and will not be silent as the plea bargains offered to him demanded. He’s not going away–nor are we who share common value ground with him. Forget Obama–the inspired youth of America offer REAL HOPE and Change for the future. And they’re going to need every bit of support from all of us.

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