Tim DeChristopher, environmental activist. A crowd of about 400 held a rally supporting him in Salt Lake City, Utah, today, Feb. 28, 2011, as his trial for civil disobedience begins. (Photo © 2011 Daphne Hougard and courtesy Peaceful Uprising. Reprinted with permission.)
By Flora Bernard*
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- We knew this would be big, but we didn’t expect it to blow us away.
Supporters have been congregated outside of the Salt Lake City federal courthouse since early this morning, singing songs of solidarity in support of Tim DeChristopher. Ages ranging from 16 months to 90 years, we stood together to lift our voices to the ears of our community and our nation, carrying banners with messages like "Defending A Livable Future" and scores of 70 paddles. As we marched to the courthouse, we sang "We Shall Overcome," spinning one verse to crystallize our cause: "Tim is not alone today."
Supporters -- about 400-strong -- show solidarity for Tim DeChristopher in Exchange Plaza in Salt Lake City today, Feb. 28, 2011, as jury selection for his trial begins. (Photo courtesy Peaceful Uprising. Reprinted with permission.)
Early on in the rally, Daryl Hannah leapt gamely onto the 8' x 8' stage across from the courthouse to reflect on the mood: "I’ve never seen a demonstration like this -- so many smiling faces!" Peter Yarrow staged an impromptu concert, singing "We are all Bidder 70; we shall not be moved," with hundreds chiming in with harmony. We recreated our Climate Trial, complete with a huge Tim DeChristopher puppet, reminding all in eye and earshot that the most relevant facts of this case are barred from the courtroom and distant from the ears of the jury that could put Tim in federal prison for the next decade. ... Read the rest of this article on Peaceful Uprising.
*Flora Bernard is a writer, a musician and activist, who has worked with Peaceful Uprising since February 2009.
Editor's Notes: Read about Tim DeChristopher's presentation at Northern Michigan University in Marquette during Protect the Earth 2009 and his participation in the water ceremony at Eagle Rock.
For more news on today's rally in Salt Lake City see Salt Lake Magazine and Time.com.
Read the Call to Action in a letter co-written by five leaders of social and environmental justice:Dr. James Hansen, Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Robert Redford, and Terry Tempest Williams.