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!