This morning, before the start of today's historic Delta 5 trial, Tim DeChristopher and defendant Abby Brockway spoke with Democracy Now! about the significance of the case. This is the first time a U.S. court has heard a ‘necessity defense’ in a case relating to climate action.Read more
Segment description via Democracy Now!
A coalition of more than 400 organizations have called on the White House to stop issuing new fossil fuel leases on public lands and oceans. More than 67 million acres of public land and ocean are already leased to the fossil fuel industry. The coalition says that declaring unleased oil, gas and coal on public lands as "unburnable" would accomplish more in the global fight against climate change than any other single action taken by the Obama administration. Joining us to discuss the new campaign is climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher. In 2008, DeChristopher spent 21 months in federal prison after he disrupted an oil and gas leasing auction on public land in Utah by posing as a bidder. Tim DeChristopher is now one of the co-founders of the new Climate Disobedience Center, which is among the many organizations calling for the end to all new fossil fuel leases on public lands.
Cross posted on the Climate Disobedience Center website.
Big day... Not only is Tim at the #KeepItInTheGround event in front of the White House, this morning the new Climate Disobedience Center website went live. Below is a brief overview of the CDC by Tim and Jay O'Hara. Make sure to visit and share climatedisobedience.org!
Founded by Tim DeChristopher, Marla Marcum, Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward, the Climate Disobedience Center brings together an experienced team of climate dissidents to provide logistical, legal and spiritual resources, on the ground assistance, and advice to climate activists organizing civil disobedience campaigns across the country
The Center will deploy those assets to nurture strong, grounded communities of resistance willing to take risks of moral imagination. We are committed to supporting those who hold allegiance to a higher moral law from action design through the legal process and consequences of action.
The goal is for the Climate Disobedience Center to serve as a catalyst for direct action, creating points of vivid moral clarity, emboldening both climate activists and the unlikeliest of allies, capturing the heart and soul of the climate debate.
For 30 years environmentalists have attempted to change the United State's and world's trajectory on fossil fuel emissions through incremental reform efforts. Drawing on conventional wisdom, environmental advocates believed their efforts would lead to sufficient incremental change to avert disaster. Those efforts have failed, and in the ensuing decades the magnitude and urgency of the crisis has escalated dramatically. Drawing on current science, we recognize that what is needed is a massive, decisive end to the fossil fuel era to avert the worst cascading effects of the climate crisis.
We recognize that what is needed is a massive, decisive end to the fossil fuel era to avert the worst cascading effects of the climate crisis, and that civil disobedience will play a critical role in bringing this about.
Climate activists engaging in civil disobedience, the Climate Disobedience Center exists to get your back. Rather than a set curriculum, we offer flexible services to help meet the needs of activists and organizing communities. Everything we do revolves around our principles instead of a structure. Our goal is to encourage experimentation that expands the boundaries of climate movement organizing. We aren’t looking for foot soldiers, but partners in experimentation.
If you and your community want to do civil disobedience but aren’t sure where or how to start, the CDC can facilitate trainings that help you pull off a successful campaign.
If you have already taken action and gotten into some good trouble, the CDC can help you make the most of it. We can help you craft your strategy inside and outside the courtroom.
For activists who are taking bold, creative and principled action against the fossil fuel industry, we provide our services, from phone consultation to extended on-the-ground organizing, free of charge.
Visit the Climate Disobedience Center
District Attorney Sam Sutter makes history siding with Lobster Boat Blockade protesters, Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward.
The following is my statement of support for the Flood Wall Street activists who, after their arrest, refused a plea deal and moved forward with a necessity defense in the New York courts. This message was read to the defendants at their trial lunch break by Rev. Billy.
Flood 11 Statement of Support
By Tim DeChristopher
March 1, 2015
The Flood 11 represent the cutting edge of the climate justice movement, and they deserve our respect and support. As part of Flood Wall Street, their action highlighted the important systemic connections between capitalism, the corporate control of government, and the climate crisis. They helped focus national attention on the structural nature of a crisis that demands revolutionary structural changes. Their action used people power, creativity, music and beauty to nonviolently send the message that to truly combat climate change, we need to dismantle the power structures of oppression.
"It is especially encouraging that the #Flood11 did not let their civil disobedience end with a mere photo-op. They are taking their case to trial to continue demonstrating the necessity of drastic action to respond to the climate crisis. Since our corporate-controlled political leaders have failed to hold Wall Street and fossil fuel executives accountable in court for their “disorderly conduct” on a massive scale, the #Flood11 are risking their own security to force this issue into the courtroom. In a world where a tiny elite can prevent the solutions necessary to defend our civilization, there is nothing disorderly about committed nonviolent resistance to that economic and political injustice. The very necessary actions of the #Flood11 are an example to our movement, our leaders, and our society, and I hope more will follow in their footsteps.
Sending my love to you and them,
The award winning documentary film, Bidder 70, shares the story of Tim DeChristopher blocking an illegal Utah Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oil and Gas lease auction, through years of postponed trails, ongoing organizing work, and the trial. The film concludes with his sentencing and being immediately removed from the court. For his civil disobedience, Tim was sentenced to two years in federal prison. He was released on April 21, 2013 after being incarcerated for 21 months.
"And when you consider that weeks after DeChristopher bid on his 13 parcels, a federal judge in essence agreed with him and blocked the sale of all the parcels, DeChristopher's prosecution becomes even more troubling. Add to that the fact that the Obama Administration's Dept of Interior said the overall sale was improper and pulled all the parcels from auction and DeChristopher's prosecution borders on absurd. DeChristopher's defense team was barred from bringing either of these facts to the attention of the jury in arguing their case. There's something radically wrong with this picture." Robert Redford
Bidder 70 was produced by Beth & George Gage, and has won 20 major film festival awards.
- Visit the official Bidder 70 film site
- Watch Bidder70 on Netflix
- Watch Bidder 70 on iTunes
- Watch Bidder 70 on Amazon Instant Video
- Buy the DVD (Amazon)
- Host a community screening
I am presently studying at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. If you would like to hold a Bidder 70 screening in the Greater Boston area, please let us know. FORM LINK? I may be able to attend and hold a Q&A session following the film.
Watch the official Bidder 70 trailer below.
Late Show appearance, June 25, 2013.Read more