Tag Archives: Tim DeChristopher

Letter to Tim

March 6, 2011

Dear Tim,

I am writing to thank you for being such a great example to our generation.  I’m an intern at the Finding the Good Traveling Semester Program in Nevada City, California.  I first heard of you when I arrived to start the semester.  The other intern, Annabelle, gave me a briefing of who you are and what you did, and mentioned that our group had interviewed you for the past three years at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.  Then she told me our directors, Tom and Debra, were considering taking our group to Utah for your trial.  Let me tell you, I pushed so hard to make sure we went, especially after watching your interviews and being so impressed with your resolve to make our future a livable one.

Peaceful Uprising was great—they put on a phenomenal summit, organized a peaceful march and rally, and found us a couple willing to let us stay in co-housing.  I really commend Peace Up’s efforts in working tirelessly to make the week a success.  It is not an exaggeration to say that the ten days I spent in Salt Lake City were some of the most intense days I’ve ever experienced.  On Monday, during the singing at the march, I felt such solidarity and strength with the rest of your supporters.  I even joked to our group that this particular rally was the solution to our energy problem—if we could just harness all of the energy that crowd generated, we could sell it to the grid!

On Thursday, I also felt strong solidarity.  I’ve never had such an intense emotional experience before.  The courtroom was charged with anticipation.  I felt as though it were me and my future standing on trial, and in a sense it was.  Before the jury even reached a verdict, I was grieving at the unfairness of it all: the judge so restricted your defense, as to allow the prosecution to try to paint you as a villain, out to “harm others.”  The idea was laughable.

I grieved because the twelve jurors of our future were largely not our “peers.”  There were a couple of younger jurors, but the majority of them were from an older generation—the very ones from whom we’d inherited such a messed-up world.  And that was unfair.

I grieved because I live in a country that punishes a man for standing up to protect his future, while allowing a few bureaucrats to continue to pillage the land for their own profit.  And that was not fair.  That is not justice.

I had braced myself for a guilty verdict, but it still pained me to hear it.  But when we all gathered outside afterward, and we were all singing, I felt that solidarity again.  And when you gave your speech, you gave us all hope again, because there will be many more after you.  It’s no easy walk to freedom, but you’ve paved the way.

I want to thank you again for your courage to act and to do the right thing.  I have no doubt that your story has, and will continue to inspire others, including myself, to take control of our future.  We’ll do great things, because we’ll respond to intimidation with joy and resolve.  Best of luck, and much love from the social justice movement!

 

Sincerely,

Britney Schultz

Moment

It’s hard to put into context the enormity of what we have been a part of, learned, and observed this past week in Salt Lake City. I could go into detail about any one part; from the potency of the wisdom the key note speakers shared with us during the weekend summit, to having lunch with Terry Tempest Williams yesterday, to what it’s like being in the courtroom, observing Tim’s trial. I have heard so many inspiring people speak and have gained an exponential amount of knowledge just in these past few days. There have been many many special moments that have struck me and left me with a lot to think about. One moment that I want to share, occurred on Monday morning during the Peaceful Uprising march through the streets of Salt Lake City. The weekend had passed and we were all ready to show our support for Tim as his trial was scheduled to start that morning. People gathered at a small park to rally and begin the march to the courthouse where we would spend the day standing in solidarity in support of Tim. As we marched through the streets I felt something that I have never felt before.

 

We were singing. The sun was warm and brilliant, shining over the snow covered mountains and the valley that contains the city. I was walking. We were all walking. Drums were being played. Our voices joined together. We were going to be heard. People were going to listen. The beat of the drums wrapped my body in one giant heartbeat. I shut my eyes. The potency and amount of love, joy and peacefulness held me. Carried me. Tears ran down my face, but I was not sad. The beauty of what we had created was overwhelming.

 

The days have been long and we have not been getting much sleep; mostly due to the fact that we are too excited to quiet our minds and rest. So whenever I feel defeated and like I just can’t go another minute, I think of what was going on in that moment during the march and how it had felt. I think of everything that moment represented and it gives me the inspiration to overcome the tiredness or the sadness. These past few days have given me so many incredible experiences and life lessons that will be with me forever.

 

-Shona Estey-Edwards

“Tim’s Trial” for Toddlers

“Tim’s Trial” for Toddlers: A Children’s Story or Forrest’s Report on the Trial in a Nutshell

Tim is on trial. Tim has good lawyers. The lawyers representing the U.S.A. are big. U.S.A. has Special Agent Love.  Tim is not allowed to speak about how the earth is getting hot.  Tim could go to jail for long time and we would be sad :(.  Tim could be proven not guilty and then we would be happy :).

We sang this song several times over the course of the trial in support of Tim and I could not get this song out of my head so I wanted to write it out…

Tim’s Theme Song

CHORUS

I will stand with you, will you stand with me

And we will be the change that we hope to see

In the name of love, in the name of peace

Will you stand, will you stand with me

 

When injustice raises up its fists

And tries to stop us in our tracks

We will rise and as one resist

No pain or sorrow will turn us back

 

CHORUS

 

When pain and hatred churn up angry noise

And try to shout down our freedom song

We will rise in one joyful voice

Loud and clear and ever strong

 

CHORUS

 

When broken hearts come knocking on our door

Lost and hungry and so alone

We will reach as we have reached before

For there is no stronger in this our home

 

CHORUS

 

In the name of love, in the name of peace

Will you stand, will you stand with me

-Forrest Blair

 

 

 

Salt Lake City or bust!

There was a storm coming. We had been preparing so diligently for Tim’s trial and our trip to Utah that we couldn’t have even fathomed not being able to get out of Nevada City; so we decided to leave a day early. After some mad packing, quite a few trips down the icy hill on the red saucers, and a lunch of Shepard’s pie, we were just about ready to leave base camp. Around four o’clock, we piled in to Van Diesel (our 15-passanger, bio-diesel fueled, FtG semester van) and took off. There was a slight buzz kill after about three minutes of driving when we realized something had been forgotten at the house and we had to go back. Then, we were on the road for real. We took a short detour to Mother Truckers where Debra purchased a jar of pickles that she said would power her through the long hours of driving. We hit Hwy. 80 just before sunset and the colors were so stunningly beautiful. The oranges and pinks reflecting on the snow blended with the dark storm clouds looming overhead and kept us mesmerized until the sun disappeared. I feel asleep in Reno and was awakened a few hours later in Winnemucca where we made a pit stop and the boys were commissioned to wash the van windows. From there I slept until we rolled into Elko, Nevada, around midnight. We got the last room at a Days Inn and had a restful slumber; Tyler’s sleep talking only woke us up once. This morning when we were discussing his sleep talking, no one could remember what he had actual said. We packed up and hopped back on the highway; with about three hours of driving left. We stopped to take photographs of the Ruby Mountains and ran around a bit in the ice-cold wind. Debra read some of Terry Tempest William’s writings and we talked about how they related to what is happening with Tim and his trial. Much trail mix, dried mango, and cheese on crackers was consumed as we crossed into Utah, listening to the peace and freedom songs that will be sung at the midnight vigil on Sunday night – the eve of Tim’s trial. The miles to Salt Lake City are reducing with each mileage sign. The flat valleys and snow-covered mountains are flying by as Tom fearlessly sets the van on cruise control and points us in the right direction.
-Shona

Climate Trial

It was the tail end of the Bush administration in December 2008, and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was hurriedly auctioning off oil and gas leases in Salt Lake City.   The land up for grabs bordered on three national parks—Canyonlands National Park, Dinosaur National Monument, and Arches National Park.  Outside the BLM office, 200 protesters were opposing the illegitimate sale.  One protester, Tim DeChristopher, was a twenty-seven year old economics student at the University of Utah who was not satisfied with just holding up signs and chanting slogans to no effect. Not having a plan, Tim walked into the auction with every intention of somehow disrupting it. When asked if he was there to bid he said, “Yes I am,” he was given a placard and thus became bidder number 70. He sat in the auction room for a bit not knowing what to do and then it hit him that he needed to start bidding on the parcels. Initially, he just intended to drive up the prices to reflect the true costs of drilling.   Soon, Tim realized he could really protect the lands if he actually won the bids.   With no money to back up his bids but every intention of throwing a wrench into the system, Tim outbid all of the private companies for thirteen straight parcels of land—totaling 22,500 acres worth $1.8 million.  Suspicious, the BLM paused the auction and Federal agents detained Tim for several hours.  During the questioning, Tim gave his reason for disrupting the sales—to derail further effects of climate change that would have been exacerbated by more drilling.  Not buying into his defense, the government slapped Tim with two felony counts—making a false statement to the government and violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act—which could carry a sentence of up to ten years and a fine of $750,000 if he is found guilty.  Tim’s trial has received a great deal of media coverage, and what has been come to be known as “The Climate Trial” has been postponed eight times already.  Finding the Good is heading out to Utah February 24th to attend weekend workshops and civil disobedience training held by Tim’s supporters at Peaceful Uprising.  The students are anticipating the outcome of Tim’s trial February 28th.

-Britney/Shona