The Trial of Bidder 70

Written by Scott Parkin

Topics: Direct Action

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Tim Dechristopher“At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, governments and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour.” — Edward Abbey

In December of 2008, college student Tim DeChristopher (aka “Bidder 70″) entered into a Bureau of Land Management auction and bid on millions of dollars in oil and gas leases. Tim’s action monkey-wrenched the plans of oilmen and the Bush Administration to develop those leases for profit in the last days of their regime.

Subsequently, Tim was charged with two felonies and, after a long legal process, finally has a court date on February 28. The federal government (yeah, that’s Obama) has made it clear that they are using Tim’s case to intimidate any activists effectively fighting back against the destruction of the climate, the earth and the people living on it.

While Tim is inside facing down the federal government, many others will be outside in solidarity. If you’re able to make it to Salt Lake City, the last weekend of February, please join Peaceful Uprising (the group Tim co-founded) as we call out the wanton destruction of the planet at the hands of corporations and the system that puts us on trial for resisting it.

It’s time to take risks and make sacrifices for this issue. Tim and many others around the world have taken the first step, but climate activists in the U.S. now need to step up and do more than click “send” on an email or post an article on Facebook.

Watch this video of Tim from the RAN offices:

3 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. candace says:

    Thanks for writing about this, i was glad to read. First i want to ask why the gathering the 24th-28th of Feb rather than before his trial?

    Scott Parkin said: “effectively fighting back against the destruction of the climate, the earth and the people living on it.”

    also as an activist, documentary maker, and finishing a PhD on deforestation and drought i have to suggest to be careful with the way we are using dramatic words in informing people. the crisis is real, the destruction of the natural world is real, but destroying climate is impossible, climate will always change, humans may alter it by adding more greenhouse gases which we are good at, but honestly people are still driving cars, so everyone here that says they are fighting against destroying earth, altering climate change and hurting people do that everytime we drive. So to be more effective, use real words, that perhaps can be understood as drilling oil in utah, first would destroy the forests which provide clean air, water, habitat, etc. then what follows would continue to make humans sick, directly and indirectly and scarring the land irreplacably.

    Thank you

  2. Scott says:

    hi Candace, that’s actually a typo. the trial is Feb 28, not Feb 8.


  3. Perry Stahlsis says:

    What are the felonies?

    Is there a legal defense fund?


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