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Tim DeChristopher's Posts

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Letter from an imprisoned activist: Time to ‘play dirty’ for the climate’s sake

Delaying a decision on Keystone XL doesn't redeem Obama's failure to take advantage of his opportunity to turn the tide of climate change.Photo: The White HouseIt goes without saying that politics is a dirty system. It's so dirty that I believe there are only three reasonable approaches to politics: apathy/despair, overthrowing the system, or playing dirty to win. I'll assume that the apathetics either aren't reading this or will soon stop reading to go watch cat videos on YouTube. The second option, revolution, is growing more plausible, and the climate movement should fully support those efforts. The occupations of Wall …

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Letter from prison: Tim DeChristopher speaks

The following text appeared in a handwritten letter from Tim DeChristopher addressed to Grist’s Jennifer Prediger. Jennifer PredigerTim DeChristopher is followed by reporters as he walks to the courthouse before sentencing. If I had ever doubted the power of words, Judge Benson made their importance all too clear at my sentencing last month. When he sentenced me to two years in prison plus three years probation, he admitted my offense "wasn't too bad." The problem, Judge Benson insisted, was my "continuing trail of statements" and my lack of regret. Apparently, all he really wanted was an apology, and for that, …

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Tim DeChristopher’s statement to the court

Photo: 350.BeforeBefore being sentenced to two years in prison and slapped with a $10,000 fine, Tim DeChristopher made this statement to the prosecution and the judge: Thank you for the opportunity to speak before the court. When I first met Mr. Manross, the sentencing officer who prepared the presentence report, he explained that it was essentially his job to "get to know me." He said he had to get to know who I really was and why I did what I did in order to decide what kind of sentence was appropriate. I was struck by the fact that he …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Ain’t no mountain high enough: Taking down Massey Coal

Rainforest Action NetworkTaking down Massey requires outside protest and inside strategy. It's not quite as elusive as the ivory-billed woodpecker, but in activism, an effective "inside-outside" strategy shares some of the same attributes as that storied bird: It's highly sought after and much talked-about, but rarely seen. First, some background. The basic idea of the inside-outside strategy for environmental reform is this: Some folks work inside legal channels, such as litigation or legislation, while other folks create outside public pressure through civil disobedience or protest. The outside folks bring attention and generate public interest, while the inside folks provide the …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal

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Blair Mountain: A new milestone in the climate justice movement?

Those making the March on Blair Mountain are part of a long history of activism.Photo: Cheshire Tongkat/March on Blair MountainTim DeChristopher is a climate activist and cofounder of Peaceful Uprising. He has been beatified as a saint in the Church of Earthalujah by the Reverend Billy and convicted as a felon by the United States Government. Each of those honors were earned by disrupting a Utah BLM oil and gas auction in December 2008, in which Tim registered as Bidder 70 and outbid the oil companies. When Tim embarks on a government-sponsored writing retreat later this year, he will continue …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Coal