Famed and heroic climate activist Tim DeChristopher of Salt Lake City has been sentenced to 2 years in prison for making bogus bids in a government lease auction sponsored by the corrupt George W. Bush administration in the last days of his administration. DeChristopher posed as an oil company agent in 2008, bidding on publicly-owned lands near Utah’s national parks that other oil companies wanted to rip open for fossil fuels. But those lands are untouched today, due in no small part to the attention DeChristopher brought to the auction, which the Obama administration later nullified, agreeing with environmentalists that the auction was inappropriate. The Obama Justice Department, however, never thanked DeChristopher, instead choosing to imprison him.
After the sentencing, activists tied themselves to the court house doors to express their dismay at the injustice committed by the U.S. Government against a man of conscience who did a good thing for the Earth. Twenty-six people went to jail.
You can put me in prison but it will not deter my future of civil disobedience and it won’t deter others who are willing to fight to defend a livable future. – Tim DeChristopher
Anyone who was tied to the federal courthouse yesterday gets free lunch on City Dogs. If you weren’t at the court house yesterday, commit your own act of civil disobedience on behalf of climate justice or any other type of justice, document it with pictures, and you too get free lunch from City Dogs–today or any day. That’s a standing offer.
If you need some help with ideas for civil disobedience, the good folks at Peaceful Uprising can give you some tips. Check ’em out: http://peacefuluprising.org/
Update 1: Thanks to the Salt Lake Tribune’s Sean Means for blogging about the Tim DeChristopher deal. Means writes, “The downside of civil disobedience: the threat of jail time. The upside to civil disobedience: free hot dogs!” Read more.
Update 2: Civil disobedience is usually understood to involve illegal activity, i.e., the activist civilly disobeys the law and law enforcement officers in the process of political speech. However, there are other rules and regulations in our lives that one may disobey to make a political point. For example, one of City Dogs’ big pet peeves is workplaces, housing developments, schools, churches and other places that still, in 2011, do not provide recycling services. To make a positive change, one could start a pile of recyclable materials next to the garbage can–and rally others to do the same–until the powers that be agree to provide a recycle bin. It’s civilly disobedient, but well below the threshold of illegal activity. Get creative.