By Umbra Fisk
Posted Feb. 22, 2011 on Grist
An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
I want to share a story of an ordinary citizen using peaceful direct action to take a stand.
When Tim DeChristopher woke up one morning in December of 2008, what he was intending to do that day was disrupt a Bureau of Land Management oil and gas lease auction. He did not expect he was starting down a road that would leave him $1.7 million in debt, facing a court date and up to 10 years in jail. But next Monday, Feb. 28, DeChristopher will go to trial for an unusual and profound act of creative, direct, nonviolent civil disobedience.
For DeChristopher, armchair activism wasn’t enough of a response to the climate crisis. So when he heard that parcels of land were going to be rushed off for lease in an auction at the end of the Bush administration, opening them up for drilling, DeChristopher wanted to do something to stop the sale... Read the rest of this article on Grist.
Photo: Tim DeChristopher speaks on "The Case for Extremism" during the Aug. 1, 2009, Protect the Earth workshops at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2009 and courtesy Gabriel Caplett)
Editor's Note: See our report of Tim DeChristopher's presentation at Protect the Earth 2009 in Marquette. Read about the Countdown to Uprising supporting Tim on Peaceful Uprising.