Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Climate Hawk Tim DeChristopher: ‘We Will Not Be Divided And We Will Not Back Down’

By Brad Johnson  

"Climate Hawk Tim DeChristopher: ‘We Will Not Be Divided And We Will Not Back Down’"

Share:

google plus icon

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher was found guilty this week for disrupting a Bush administration oil lease auction, in a trial even the judge admitted was flawed. As bidder 70, DeChristopher competed with oil companies for the tracts of pristine Utah wilderness, winning $1.7 million worth of bids in an auction held during the waning days of the Bush administration. The auction, which included land within site of Arches National Park, was found later to have been in violation of federal law and withdrawn by the Obama administration. DeChristopher was not allowed to explain that — or his concerns about the destruction of our planet’s atmosphere from fossil fuel pollution — at his trial.

We’re not here about why he did it,” federal judge Dee Vance Benson said, explaining why he prevented the jury from hearing DeChristopher’s motives. “I don’t see any basis that Mr. DeChristopher is not guilty because the auction may not have been a perfect auction,” Benson said. “This trial is not a perfect trial, but it is still a trial.”

Likewise, the U.S. attorneys who prosecuted DeChristopher — Scott Romney and John Huber — claimed that the trial had nothing to do with Big Oil or the Bush administration, as they said he “derailed, disrupted and sabotaged” the auction.

Speaking on the steps of the Utah courthouse after he was found guilty, DeChristopher explained why he refused a plea bargain and is ready to go to jail on behalf of our planet’s future:

And we know that now I’ll have to go prison, we know that now that’s the reality. But that’s just the job that I have to do. That’s the role that I face. And many before me have gone to jail for justice, and if we are going to achieve our vision many after me will have to join me as well.

Nobody ever told us that this battle would be easy. Nobody ever told us that we wouldn’t have to make sacrifices. We knew that when we started this fight.

Every wave on the ocean that has ever risen up and refused to lay back down has been dashed on the shore, but it is the very purpose of a wave to rise up, because once it rises above the horizon it finally has the perspective to see that it’s not just a wave, that it’s a part of a mighty ocean. And the sharpest rock on the wildest shore can never break that ocean apart, they can never wear that ocean down, because it’s the ocean that shapes the shore.

Watch it:

Full transcript:

What the world wanted to see was how you would react. And you all have reacted with joy and resolve. You’ve shown that your power will not be intimidated by any power that they have, and that’s the most important thing that has happened here this week.

Because everything that went on inside that building tried to convince me that I was alone and that I was weak. They tried to convince me that I was like a little finger out there on my own that could easily be broken. And all of you out here were the reminder for all of us that I wasn’t just a finger all alone in there, but that I was connected to a hand with many fingers that could unite as one fist, and that that fist could not be broken by the power that they have in there.

That fist is not a symbol of violence. That fist is a symbol that we will not be misled into thinking that we are alone. We will not be lied to and told we are weak. We will not be divided and we will not back down. That fist is a symbol that we are connected and that we are powerful. It’s a symbol that we hold true to our vision of a healthy and just world and that we are building the self-empowering movement to make it happen. All those authorities in there wanted me to think like a finger but our children are calling to us to think like a fist.

And we know that now I’ll have to go prison, we know that now that’s the reality. But that’s just the job that I have to do. That’s the role that I face. And many before me have gone to jail for justice, and if we are going to achieve our vision many after me will have to join me as well.

Nobody ever told us that this battle would be easy. Nobody ever told us that we wouldn’t have to make sacrifices. We knew that when we started this fight.

Every wave on the ocean that has ever risen up and refused to lay back down has been dashed on the shore, but it is the very purpose of a wave to rise up, because once it rises above the horizon it finally has the perspective to see that it’s not just a wave, that it’s a part of a mighty ocean. And the sharpest rock on the wildest shore can never break that ocean apart, they can never wear that ocean down, because it’s the ocean that shapes the shore.

That’s what we’re starting to do here today. That’s what we’re starting to do here this week. With wave after wave after wave crashing against that shore, we shape it to our vision. Thank you all for being a part of that.

Update

At the Huffington Post, 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.

‹ Tim DeChristopher aka Bidder 70: Game changer in the fight against global warming

Carbon Nation is a great documentary on clean energy solutions ›

Comments are closed.