Climate activist Tim DeChristopher visited "The Late Show" with David Letterman on Tuesday to discuss the documentary "Bidder 70," which tells the story of his stunning act of civil disobedience in a time of global climate chaos.
DeChristopher disrupted a highly disputed Utah BLM Oil and Gas lease auction, effectively safeguarding thousands of acres of pristine Utah land that were slated for oil and gas leases. Not content to merely protest outside, Tim entered the auction hall and registered as bidder #70. He outbid industry giants on land parcels (which, starting at $2 an acre, were adjacent to national treasures like Canyonlands National Park), winning 22,000 acres of land worth $1.7 million before the auction was halted.
Two months later, incoming Interior Secretary Ken Salazar invalidated the auction. DeChristopher, however, was indicted on two federal felonies with penalties of up to 10 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Patrick Shea, former BLM Director for Clinton, represented DeChristopher pro-bono.
With the threat of prison looming, DeChristopher stepped up his activism and evolved into a charismatic and ingenious climate justice leader. He co-founded Peaceful Uprising, a grass-roots group dedicated to defending a livable future through empowering non-violent action.
After two years and nine postponements, his trial began on February 28, 2011. Outside the courtroom, hundreds rallied in solidarity with Tim. Inside, Judge Dee Benson disallowed every defense his lawyers put forth. After a five-day trial, DeChristopher was found guilty. His sentencing was scheduled for summer 2012.
"Bidder 70" tells the story of Tim DeChristopher and his stunning act of civil disobedience in a time of global climate chaos. On December 19, 2008, DeChristopher, as Bidder #70, derailed the Bush administration's last minute, widely disputed federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oil and Gas lease auction, acting to safeguard thousands of acres of Utah land. Bidding $1.7 million, Tim won 22,000 acres of land with no intention to pay or drill. For his disruption of the auction, DeChristopher was indicted on two federal charges. Tim's civil disobedience has drawn national attention to America's energy policy and criticism to the BLM's management of public lands. Refusing to compromise his principles and rejecting numerous plea offers by the prosecution, Tim is willing to sacrifice his own future to bring this vitally important issue to global attention. Bidder 70 is Tim's story: his actions, his trial and his possible prison sentence.* It is also the story of the scientists, activists, writers, and movements that influence and support his actions.
Recognizing that environmental conditions are inextricably linked to the realization of essential human rights—including the rights to life and health—Human Rights Watch documents and exposes the human rights implications of environmental degradation. Human Rights Watch has succeeded in bringing environment-related human rights violations to light, and has pressed decision-makers to amend abusive policies and practices. Human Rights Watch also monitors and documents repressive measures that governments take to address the social and economic consequences of environmental abuse, including brutal tactics they employ in resource-rich countries to quash local community protests against companies accused of environmental degradation.
People arrested during the NYPD crackdown on the Occupy Wall Street encampment last fall have asked a judge to dismiss trespassing charges, on the grounds that the demonstrators had a legal right to be in the privately owned plaza.
Fracking Hell: Williams Lathrop Compressor Station in Springville, Pa., Susquehanna County. Explosion before noon , 3-29-12, shook nearby homes, and fire and black smoke billowing out for two hours until pressure came down and emergency personnel could go in. This is a new Compressor Station since 9-11 and the biggest one in our county. More Here.
Fire-fighting ships monitor huge gas leak: France's Total sent fire-fighting ships close to the scene of a gas leak from its North Sea Elgin platform early today (NZ time) as a large gas cloud led to fears of an explosion.
The company said the gas originated thousands of metres below the seabed, which engineers said might mean that a relief well - one possible option to stop the leak - could take months to drill.
Total has not yet found a way to stop the gas leak.
Tim DeChristopher, considered a folk hero in the environmental community, is serving two years for fraudulently bidding on drilling leases near Utah’s national parks in an effort to keep the parcels undeveloped.
DeChristopher's time in isolation was the result of a complaint lodged by an "anonymous" congressman.
Overhaul the Banks?: A convocation of bankers, lawyers, financial leaders and academics met on March 27 to discuss the creation of new global regulatory authorities, according to the conference's event page. Try to tell me again that the Occupy movement isn't making a difference.
They're Back: It's been a year since the Occupy Wall Street movements taking over the country were one-by-one taken down by local police but in Dallas a group of occupy protesters have returned to send a message. "we've never really been gone."
Support for Arrested Journalists: 70 journalists have been arrested while covering Occupy protests in 12 cities around the country. In an annual survey of worldwide freedom of the press released Jan. 23 by Reporters without Borders.
Demonstrators shut down the entrance of the Hotel Sofitel in Redwood City where Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney held a fundraising dinner on March 26th. Several protest groups coordinated to produce a show of anger aimed at the presidential hopeful and wealthy attendees of the event. One group erected a giant Etch A Sketch outside the hotel entrance, making light of a recent Romney aide's gaffe; others mocked billionaire supporters of his campaign by wearing faux fur and pearls and lifting glasses of champagne.
Occupy Redwood City, Occupy San Jose, and Occupy San Francisco members joined labor groups on the sidewalk with drums and other musical instruments to augment loud chants. Occupy Oakland members came from the east side of the Bay to the peninsula event and shouted as the fundraiser guests arrived, "Dinner is over! Go home!