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CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: DeChristopher: Join Me in Prison

Environment  (tags: ecosystems, environment, activists, law, civil disobedience, protection, nature, conservation, energy, humans, politics )

- 2969 days ago -
After nearly five hours of deliberations Thursday, a jury convicted eco-activist Tim DeChristopher of two felonies for placing bogus bids at an oil and gas lease auction.


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Aletta Kraan (146)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 6:35 pm
Noted , thanks !

. (0)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 7:18 pm
The problem with this kind of civil disobedience is that there are so many differing views in society. And what one person may support another will not. So many who would support this man would likely be opposed to, say, another person breaking the law to promote an anti-abortion agenda - no matter how genuinely and fervently the anti-abortion protester might hold his beliefs. We tend to give a pass to those we agree with - and insist that those we don't be held to the letter of the law.

While I sympathize with what DeChristopher was trying to accomplish in some ways (and respect him for accepting that he was going to have to pay a price for acting on his beliefs), I think the jury was right to convict him. Had the jury decided to nullify, they would have set a very bad precedent - and I really don't want the anti-abortionists, the religious zealots, and so many others of whom I disapprove using that precedent to break the law in furtherance of their own causes.

Of course, I'm as much of a hypocrite as anyone else at times - since I've broken the law a few times in 'liberating' animals from miserable situations (and would definitely choose to break the law in assisting a loved one in a rational suicide for medical reasons if I thought I wouldn't get caught.)


Carol H (229)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 7:54 pm
noted, thanks Cal

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 8:32 pm

Cristina M (137)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 9:59 pm
Well done DeChristopher! I admire somebody that's willing to go to jail to save the environment. He didn;t kill anybody, he just hurt some pockets of very rich people anyway and the environment comes first.

Barbara Erdman (63)
Thursday March 3, 2011, 10:17 pm
noted and thanx Cal....admirable to hear of one willing to sacrifice for their convictions

JustaHuman Here (53)
Friday March 4, 2011, 12:11 am
He understands that we all have the duty to save life in general.

Mike S (86)
Friday March 4, 2011, 5:50 am
Noted and thank you Cal. A remarkable and admirable man indeed.

Arielle S (313)
Friday March 4, 2011, 11:25 am
I agree with Mr. Redford: Robert Redford writes: "There's something wrong with this picture. Major financial institutions in this country brought the nation's economy to its knees yet not one person associated with the debacle is in jail. The human consequence of their actions is indescribably profound and not one person responsible for any of it went to jail. And yet the federal government prosecuted this young activist's act of civil disobedience and he now faces jail time."

bj. shaw (61)
Friday March 4, 2011, 11:39 am
Arielle S I agree totally but the difference is DeChristopher fought the authority where as those in the Financial Institutions are the authority. There should be Accountability of power and until people are willing to Protest or Fight for it Accountability of Power will be just a pipe dream. Those who abuse power are protected by those still left in power.

Jessica C (178)
Friday March 4, 2011, 11:52 am
DeChristopher is a hero. I wish more people had the guts to do what he did.

Roger G (148)
Friday March 4, 2011, 12:18 pm
thanks !

. (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 12:56 pm
I agree 100% with Robert Redford and thank him for his article.

Ryan Nixon (4)
Friday March 4, 2011, 1:06 pm
DeChristopher is an amazing human being.

Dale Must (20)
Friday March 4, 2011, 1:28 pm
Thanks Cal! Yes, he's guilty and I would have pushed for an investigation. If he's guilty, then throw George Bush and the present House of Representatives into a bigger prison for betrayal of public interest and even treason. The corruption abounds. It's scary as this is how the Nazis started their power climb

Lin Penrose (92)
Friday March 4, 2011, 1:41 pm
Thanks Cal. I have a great deal of admiration for DeChristopher. His courage and fortitude in his beliefs is a lesson, though he is paying a big price. I also agree with Lindsey DTSW and Dale Must and their comments. The precedents to set possiblities of the future.

Marti Williams (170)
Friday March 4, 2011, 1:51 pm
Sadly noted Cal..i wonder what would happen if there were a whole lot of people did show up and overwhelm the judiciary...

Gloria H (88)
Friday March 4, 2011, 2:01 pm
Just saw a video of one of the "escaped" Dems being manhandled, caught in a head lock and escourted away by police. These are our lawmakers! So is this not a clue that our so called democracy is being whittled away at by the powers that be? We sanction torture, arrest and imprison whistleblowers, coo softly as social security is being prepped to be stolen away from us, look the other way when our vets are begging on streetcorners, and good people are being evicted out of their homes. Welcome to Amerika 1984.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 2:03 pm
He said it best:- "We know that now I’ll have to go to prison," DeChristopher said. "If we’re going to achieve our vision, many after me will have to join me as well."

ewoud k (68)
Friday March 4, 2011, 2:53 pm
Looks like the US has another political prisoner....

How can it be that this man got cought, and that the big, real criminals who wrecked the economy are still free and, what's more, hardly ever are persued?

Yep, power covers power, big money covers big money, and there are too many crossroads between these two circles.

Pamela K (13)
Friday March 4, 2011, 3:29 pm
Mr. DeChristopher has MY adoration! I am almost finished reading the book "Canaries on the Rim" by Chip Ward which chronicles the ongoing stuggle that many Utahans have had in fighting pollution ( water, air, nuclear, chemical, biological, "you name it") threathened on them in the name of "the greater good", "national prosperity", and "PROFITS"!, etc....This happens anywhere/everywhere that people are financially powerless vs powerful--over and over and over again! In this country we fight through the court system and, In My Mind (and many others, I'm sure), Mr DeChristopher is a CLEAR WINNER!

Faith Billingham (3)
Friday March 4, 2011, 3:52 pm

Justin R (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 4:15 pm
Yes - DeChristopher is a HERO for the planet and all of our children, without people like him we have no hope.
I only wish I would not live so far away, I would have wanted to be at the trail.

Donald Cordell (8)
Friday March 4, 2011, 4:21 pm
It is against the law to disagree with the government.

Miguel B. (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 4:33 pm
I totally agree

Miguel B. (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 4:33 pm
He is a hero

Stefano Vescovini (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 4:59 pm

gene p (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 6:03 pm
Thanks for taking a stand DeChristopher.

Israel Valdez (0)
Friday March 4, 2011, 9:01 pm

Manuela B (10)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 3:52 am
Oil companies are going to destroy the planet,they start wars as in Irak for no reason at all but to get their hands on the oil,and sending teenagers to death in that war with the false pretense." defending your country."Bravo for Dechristopher!! I wish thre are more brave people like him!!

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 10:19 am
Obama should commute his conviction. But if more and more people are willing to give of their lives for the rest of us. This will cause a ground swell of resistance of the powers that be. A ground swell that is rising globally. Look at the people arising against repressive governments in the Middle East. People arising against a repressive government in Wisconsin. People arising against a repressive governments in Washington. This verdict it jail Dechristopher was for the benefit of the Big Oil companies that have bought off our government.
I do not agree with the Teabaggers but I understand the frustration with the current way our country is being controlled by others. This is supposed to be by the people not the corporations.

Robert B (60)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 11:24 am
When the rich and powerful no longer care about fairness and true justice and stack the rules against the general population it is not against the law to protest via peaceful civil disobedience. This was a kangaroo court. The persons that SHOULD be tried and convicted are the Wall Street robber barons and the crooked politicians who are protecting them. It's time to SPEAK UP! Even though evil always destroys itself in the end, I for one don't want evil to destroy the innocent and the planet as they go.

Cindy C (125)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 11:40 am
thank you for sharing

Jane H (139)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 2:43 pm
What a good man--I hate to see him imprisoned.

Marilyn K (50)
Sunday March 6, 2011, 3:49 am
Considering what many public officials have walked away from I would say that a sentence of community service would have been more then sufficient.

Anne P (174)
Sunday March 6, 2011, 8:08 am
Folk hero Tim McChristopher is sentenced to prison, while war criminals Bush and Cheney walk free. Our country is so messed up.

Parvez Zuberi (7)
Monday March 7, 2011, 12:37 am
Thanks noted

Debbie G (306)
Monday March 7, 2011, 5:50 pm
Anne, I agree with you. This country is totally messed up. Dear God, please help us.

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 4:34 am
Gandhi freed India from the yoke of colonial domination & oppression, and who today would think of serving up drivel about "..what one person may support another will not"? - history decides who the winners are.

And, yes, DeChristopher, as someone else said here, is a WINNER !

Gandhi's strategy was to get his opponent to sway before the unwavering dedication of his followers, all willing to go to jail, over & over again, for what they believed was the Truth. We'll need a lot more unwaveringly dedicated activists before this opponent will DeChristopher himself recognizes.

I enjoyed reading many of the comments here, renewing my faith in man- & womankind, & rewarded them with green stars.

And thank you, those of you who quite pertenently point out that the authors of the unjustified war on & destruction of Iraq, those who approved & carried out torture on supposed 'enemy combattants,' those who invented 'extraordinary renditions,' & suppressed our freedoms with the Patriot Act, supposedly to protect us, but electrocuted US soldiers in Halliburton faultily-wired showers, those who used & approved the use of DU weapons, showering them down on Fallujah, for example, causing exploding rates of horrific birth defects now & for generations to come - these people are still free and will never be called on to account for their crimes.

The architects of the 2008 economic meltdown have similarly not been troubled with accountability, although everyday we read about more decent Americans losing their homes, budget cuts in every social service imaginable from Wisconsin to NY to California. I just saw this year's Oscar-winning documentary, 'Inside Job', an excellent & very militant look at the meltdown, so this is all fresh in my mind & my fury has been churned up to boiling once again:

On the contrary, President Obama REWARDED most of the those responsible with cabinet & top advisory posts: Tim Geithner, then head of the New York Federal Reserve, appointed as Secretary of the Treasury; Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary under Clinton, got to head the White House National Economic Council. Ben Bernanke got a 2nd term as chairman of the Federal Reserve. (After leaving the Fed Reserve, Alan Greenspan, who was not called back into 'government service,' was hired as an adviser to a hedge fund named 'Paulson & Co.') Another culprit featured in "Inside Job," & whose name was flying around in the post-Obama victory period, Robert Rubin, another former anti-regulation Treasury Sec, touted as a possible appointee to an Obama cabinet post, is now one of Obama's economic advisers.

The attempts of Brooksley Born, then head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission [CFTC], to regulate derivatives ran into fierce resistance from the Greenspan-Rubin-Summers troika, once featured on Time magazine's cover as 'the Committee to Save the World' (!!): Summers prevailed upon Congress to stop Born and limit future regulation. Despite her alarm at the lack of oversight of the secretive, multitrillion-dollar over-the-counter derivatives market, and the 'epic' battle she had lead behind closed doors, Born was stopped dead in her tracks: a CFTC colleague recalls -in both 'Inside Job' and PBS' Frontline 'The Warning' - seeing her just as she'd hung up the phone after a verbal lashing from Larry Summers, the blood completely drained from her face: "You're going to cause the worst financial crisis since the end of World War II."... [He says he has] 13 bankers in his office who informed him of this. Stop, right away. No more.'

So the cast of culprits at our economy's steering wheel is complete!
And as 'Inside Job' director Charles Ferguson said in his Oscar acceptance speech just over a week ago:
“Forgive me, I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail, and that’s wrong.”

Pamela K commented, "In this country we fight through the court system..." BUT if the courts return unfair judgments, and the prosecutors don't prosecute, where does THAT leave us? Let's not forget the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United ruling, either!

Liz Ryan Murray, policy director of National People's Action, an advocacy organization that helped launch the website (sing the petition), was quoted in a Huffington Post article (Financial Crisis Prosecutions On Wall Street Slow To Develop Despite Cries For Justice) just this past February: "People need to go to jail. If you steal something, you go to jail. If you falsify documents, you go to jail. Why doesn't that apply to big bank executives?"

New to C2NN & virtually ignored, this great post is NOT mine: the "Make Wall Street Pay!"Movement: Angry Homeowners Shut Down B of A and Boehner's Office (from Raw Story via AlterNet) covers the The National People's Action Network launch of their "Make Wall Street Pay" campaign timed to coincide with another 'show' in town the same day: the National Association of Attorneys General's Convention in Washington, D.C., which was their first stop. Text article & video not to be missed!

LucyKaleido ScopeEyes (82)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 5:11 am
Watch "Inside Job" free online @ Documentary Heaven
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