Tim DeChristopher’s trial continues today, despite Judge Benson’s continued refusal to let the jury hear any truth regarding climate change and Tim’s motives for defending a livable future. While this has indeed frustrated many people standing in solidarity with Tim, it has also inspired others to take riskier actions in order to stand up for what they believe in.
A local teacher who taught a class called “Art Ecology and Climate Change” to middle school students, was recently fired in response to an angry parent’s reaction to one of her lessons. As she explains in this video, she was inspired last October when Tim spoke to students and explained how a recent study showed that, on average, Americans were only willing to spend $25 per year to mitigate climate change. Tim suggested that the study be done once more by children instead of adults, which inspired her to take a creative initiative. She had her class ask adults the same question, then write the dollar amount down and place it on their forehead, asking “is that what you’re willing to pay for my future?”
(Video removed by request of the teacher, June 2013)
In a more recent action, Ryan Pleune was working his first day as a bus driver taking a group of local 5th grade students to see A Tale of Two Cities as part of their study of revolutions. After leaving the theater, Ryan decided to use the extra time they had to bring a relevant, local context to their learning experience. As an educator himself, he knew the value of bringing real, relevant and experiential learning to complement their classroom education, and didn’t want to miss the opportunity for these students to see history in the making.
After obtaining permission from the transportation department to take a 4 block detour, he parked the bus outside the courthouse for five minutes and allowed the students to watch the activists outside practicing real, direct participatory democracy.
(Video from fox13now.com no longer available.)
I know this is the kind of response that Tim wants his actions to inspire in others, and I’m profoundly inspired to see the sentiment spreading. I am beginning to see more and more people realize that it is our duty, as citizens of a democracy, to stand up and refuse to be obedient to injustice–even when that injustice is widely accepted as part of “the system” and when refusing to be complicit can carry a heavy penalty. Our purpose as human beings is not to obediently follow those who claim to have power over us–but to find power within ourselves and within our community and express that in a way that we can leave this world a better place than we found it.
I am deeply inspired by these people. I honor them for their moral integrity and for being able to look beyond themselves to something bigger. And I know there are many more like them — willing to make personal sacrifice for the greater good. These are unprecedented times, and we are only seeing the beginning of a seismic shift in human consciousness. If you can feel that as well, if you understand the importance of standing up for our future, and if you want an incredible community to support you in creating a just and healthy world, please… join us.