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Tim is facing ten years in prison on two felony charges for derailing an illegal sale of public land from the outgoing Bush administration to private oil and gas developers.
The government is embarrassed by this very public trial, and wishes it would go away, but Tim has refused any kind of plea bargain because he thinks a jury of his peers should decide if he was justified in defying an unjust system that is dooming us to an unlivable future.
It is this kind of peaceful, powerful, and courageous civil disobedience that is largely missing from the climate movement. An outbreak of jury trials (and willingness to serve time if necessary) could create a political atmosphere that allows a reasonable governmental response to climate change–while bringing the damaging injustices of our current system into the spotlight
Tim forced a trial so we would have a chance to show the world that if you stand up for a livable future, others will stand with you. Can you join us?
|The following letter is being endorsed by leaders of social and environmental justice. All recognize the trial of Tim DeChristopher to be a turning point in the climate movement:|
|Dr. James Hansen, author of Storms of my Grandchildren, and who is regarded as the world’s leading climatologist
Terry Tempest Williams, author of The Open Space of Democracy
Ted Glick has devoted 42 years of his life to the progressive social change movement, participating in and leading hundreds of actions. He has been arrested sixteen times for acts of nonviolent civil disobedience.
The following organization also have endorsed this Call to Action:
On July 26th 2011, climate activist Tim DeChristopher will be sentenced at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse. On March 3rd, Tim was found guilty of two felony counts for participating in a peaceful act of civil disobedience. A bright, charismatic young man could face up to ten years in federal prison, along with a $750,000 fine, for outbidding Big Coal and Big Oil as they attempted to quietly take thousands of acres of pristine lands from the public.
How will the Climate Justice Movement respond to this injustice?
The day of Tim’s [originally scheduled] sentencing marked the 23rd anniversary of the day that NASA scientist James Hansen first testified to Congress about the undeniable threat of skyrocketing carbon emissions. Nearly a quarter of a century ago, Hansen made it perfectly clear to our leaders that the developed world’s addiction to fossil fuels puts in peril the very planet on which we rely for survival. 23 years later, we still find ourselves arguing semantics with a Congress determined to allow maximum legal and political flexibility for America’s largest polluters.
Everyday citizens around the nation are rediscovering the cherished American tradition of peaceful civil disobedience as a tool for social and political change. The climate justice movement must respond as one of our most powerful advocates faces a severe prison sentence for nonviolently and effectively taking a stand on our behalf. On July 26th, we invite you to organize a solidarity event at a federal courthouse near you. Stand in solidarity with Tim, and send your message loud and clear: “We will not be intimidated. We will not sit idly by as our government uses Tim DeChristopher as an example to deter other activists. We will not compromise when it comes to defending our right to a healthy and just world.”
Whatever the outcome of Tim’s sentencing, we urge you take a stand. The survival of humankind must become our leaders’ top priority. Historically, social change has only occurred when ordinary citizens are empowered to stand up for their rights, and act. To accomplish this, we must work together. We will win this crucial battle only through an empowered, unified movement committed to principled, positive, and sustained resistance.
*Endorsements are not money sponsorships.
COME SHOW YOUR LOVE AND OUTRAGE
On July 26th, climate activist Tim DeChristopher will be sentenced at the Salt Lake City federal courthouse – after being found guilty of 2 federal felonies for peacefully disrupting an oil and gas lease auction. By raising his bidder paddle that day, Tim actually shed light on the illegality of a rushed auction, clearly a parting gift from the Bush administration to the fossil fuel industry. Yet during his trial, Tim was was never allowed to tell the jury about the illegitimacy of the auction or about his attempts to raise the funds to pay for the land he had won. Furthermore, he was strictly forbidden from even mentioning climate change and the moral imperatives motivating his action!
On Tuesday, we will stand behind Tim – for his courageous act, for his convictions and for his uncompromising stance in our quest for Climate Justice. We will continue to call out our Justice Department for the unjust nature of this trial. Our movement will not stop there, because the real carbon criminals are still running free. And our communities are ready to take a stand against the oppressive fossil fuel industry. Will you join our efforts, as we stand in solidarity with Tim and demand the healthy and just world that we all deserve?
In Salt Lake City, on the 26th, we will be rallying at noon at Exchange Place Plaza – right across the street from the federal courthouse. And the next day, we will continue the community audits that we began in June.
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12-2pm. Street Theatre
Come discover the wonders of engaged theatre, following in the footsteps of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. How will we empower ourselves as a community to hold the real carbon criminals accountable? What does our fight for a healthy and just world look like? How do we become the powerful agents of change we’re meant to be?
2-3 pm. Songs and Speakers
3pm. Tim’s Sentencing
Continued solidarity and more: song & solidarity with Peter Yarrow, the PeaceUp band and official statement from Peaceful Uprising.
7pm. Gathering at the Unitarian Church (569 S 1300 E)
We know by observing history that nonviolent movements are more effective than destructive ones. Remember, we are dismantling a system that is loyal to greed and fueled by fear. We will not change that through fighting with the police or destroying property. We will defeat these things by using outrage as fuel for our courage, generosity, and resolve.
On July 26th, show the world that we will not be intimidated; that it is our right to challenge the status quo; that we embrace peaceful civil disobedience as a tradition and as a vital tactic. If you can come to Salt Lake City, we welcome you with open arms. If you cannot, join or start a solidarity action near you. Demonstrate. Stand in joy and resolve. Show your outrage that one of our brothers could face the most severe sentences in history for a nonviolent direct action against the fossil fuel industry.
Reclaim your voice. Because you are not alone. The entire climate justice movement is standing behind you.
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11am. Community Audits. Meet at International Peace Gardens (111 S 900 W)
Targeting “hot spots” and supporting “cool spots” in our community
7pm. “Shaping the Shore” Fundraiser for Our Future. Unite at the Peaceful Uprising warehouse (1361 S Main St)
Live Music with Alex Ebert (of Edward Sharped & The Magnetic Zeroes) and Silent Auction. Food and Drinks. $20 suggested donation at the door.
Our Standards for Demonstration:
- We will promote a tone of respect, honesty, transparency, and accountability in our actions.
- We will use no violence (physical or verbal) towards any person.
- We will not destroy or damage property.
- We will not carry anything that can be construed as a weapon, nor possess (or consume) any alcohol or drugs.
- We will all hold each other accountable to respecting these agreements.
JOIN US. AN INJUSTICE TO ONE IS A DANGER TO US ALL.
Music and Songbooks — Find the latest music from Peaceful Uprising, including free audio downloads, lyrics, and songbooks.
Visual Resources — Download designs for signs, banners, bidder 70 paddles and more.
Show Nationwide Solidarity — Can’t make it to Salt Lake on July 26th? We still need your support! Help organize a demonstration at your nearest federal courthouse to show solidarity across the nation.
Find Housing in SLC — Traveling to Salt Lake? Let us help you connect with our community for a place to stay.
Register to be a Host — Live in Salt Lake and want to help host the activists traveling from across the country?
Have other questions? Call 801-747-9871 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, you can contact Ashley Anderson at email@example.com.
Media & Press: Contact Flora Bernard Flora@peacefulUprising.org or 801-747-9871. Also, please see our Press & Media Resources Page.
Peaceful Uprising is a project of the International Humanities Center, a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization. Your tax-deductible donations will help us educate the pubic about the realities of climate change through a variety of creative methods, including trainings, demonstrations, teach-ins, street theater and more!
We operate frugally and effectively, but we need your support to carry on our unique work.