It was a little over two and half years ago that our dear friend and comrade Tim DeChristopher went into a federal land auction and stopped an illegal sale of Utah wilderness to the oil and gas industry. He was subsequently charged with two felonies and, last February, was convicted of them.
Next week, he’s set to be sentenced by a federal judge.
In the past six months, Tim’s voice calling for civil disobedience and a peaceful uprising against corporate fossil fuel companies has become louder and louder. And it’s working. In collaboration with grassroots activists all over the continent, direct action for climate justice is spreading and growing.
- In April, Rising Tide North America and Peaceful Uprising organized a mass unpermitted march through the streets of Washington D.C. to the Dept. of Interior in the aftermath of Power Shift. Over 300 people occupied the lobby in protest of the department’s rubber stamp of fossil projects. 21 were arrested.
- In June, 250 people marched 5 days through West Virginia to historic Blair Mountain. On the final day, 1000 marched to the top of the mountain calling for an end to mountaintop removal mining.
- Last week, in Montana, Earth First! and Northern Rockies Rising Tide occupied MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s offices in protest of his support of tar sands development in his state. Five were arrested after locking themselves together with PVC pipes fashioned into a mock oil pipeline.
- Yesterday, the RAMPS campaign in West Virginia began two tree-sits on Coal River Mountain to stop strip mining on the iconic mountain. So far, two have been arrested and two remain in the canopy.
- On Aug. 4, community members are calling for direct action at BP’s New Orleans offices in protest of the oil company’s continued lack of accountability for the devastating oil spill.
- On Aug. 12, Rising Tide North America and the environmental justice community is teaming up with economic justice and labor groups in St. Louis to fight corporations destroying jobs and homes with economic collapse and the climate with coal.
- At the end of August, thousands are converging and risking arrest over 15 days at the White House in protest of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Next Tuesday, the group that Tim co-founded, Peaceful Uprising, is organizing actions at federal courthouses and federal buildings across the country in solidarity with the sentencing happening in Salt Lake City. The time for talk and compromise on vital issues like climate change and fossil fuel extraction is past. Now is the time to get involved, take risks and try to make a difference.
Here’s how you can plug in:
1.Solidarity Actions: We are calling on activists to demonstrate solidarity and show our rejection of a corrupt justice system, by staging actions at federal district courts around the nation. Help send the government a clear message of love and outrage: we will not be intimidated or deterred. Register here.
2. Letters to the Editor: Our goal is to flood the national press leading up to July 26th. You can use Peace Up’s letter to the editor template and their talking points as tools to buttress your own personal perspective when you express to your local media what the climate crisis and Tim’s prosecution mean to you. Reach out to publications, community radio, and any local networks and help us make this happen.
Real change will come from the bottom, not from Presidents or Kings, and not from silver bullet events that awaken the world with an “a-ha,” but from long hard work on the ground building a movement.