Last Monday I had the privilege to hear environmental activist Tim DeChristopher, give a talk here in Santa Fe, NM.
Tim’s activism took a more committed turn when he attended a BLM auction in December 2008 that was selling pristine wilderness for oil and gas development. Tim had thought that he might interrupt the auction to bring attention to the fact that the government had not followed its own rules when it fast tracked this auction as one of outgoing President Bush’s final acts. However when Tim arrived he was asked if he was a bidder and he replied yes, and with that simple act his life was changed dramatically. Tim bid, and won, many parcels of land saving them from being purchased by oil and gas companies.
To make a long story short Tim now faces a guilty verdict on two felonies, in spite of the fact that auction was later ruled to be illegal. His sentencing was originally scheduled for this coming Thursday but has now been postponed until July 26. This is a dramatic example of someone putting themselves on the line for what they believe, with the desire to bring more attention to the calamity we are facing with climate change, and that we all must starting doing more to make a difference.
We can no longer wait for the government to take effective action, we see it just is not happening. Each of us are being called upon to act and to act now. This is a call to love ourselves, each other, our planet and all of those that we share it with…plant, animal, waterway, mountain. We are all connected and face a perilous future if we don’t take a realistic look at what we are doing to the planet and each other and make some big changes. When the driving force is no longer power and money many things will change and we can lead the way to this new paradigm that can improve everyone’s life on the planet.
I have started an online petition asking President Obama to pardon Tim DeChristopher so that this inspiring young man does not have to serve prison time. If you support this idea please join me and sign the petition. Tim seemed quite peaceful with the idea that he could face ten years in jail, and more realistically four and half years could be his sentence, however I feel that he could be more effective doing what he is doing now and that is inspiring others to take some sort of action as they feel inspired. He acknowledges that each of our actions need to come from ourselves, not someone telling us what to do, so each of us may come up with a variety of actions.
The organization that I think was created as a result of Tim’s action is called Peaceful Uprising and they advocate “defending a livable future through empowering nonviolent action”. We must become empowered to act to save our future and the next generation’s future.
Peaceful Uprising is supporting actions across the country on Tim’s new sentencing date of July 26. You can read about Tim, the trial and actions on this day here. In the meantime they also are asking for a show of solidarity this Thursday the 23rd, Tim’s original sentencing date.
Join me to stand in solidarity with Tim at the New Mexico Federal Courthouse, 106 S Federal Place, Santa Fe 87501 (here is a map) June 23, 2011 from 4-5:30. If you are in another state check the website to see if an action is planned near you or start one.
Empower yourself to stand up for what you believe in….taking action is one way to create the change that we want to see and be. I hope to see you on Thursday.