Wednesday, March 28, 2012

From Peaceful Uprising: Tim DeChristopher placed in isolated confinement

Press release from Peaceful Uprising
Posted on March 27, 2012

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- On the evening of Friday March 9, 2012, climate activist Tim DeChristopher was summarily removed from the Minimum Security Camp where he has been held since September 2011, and moved into the FCI Herlong's Special Housing Unit (SHU). Tim was informed by Lieutenant Weirich that he was being moved to the SHU because an unidentified Congressman had called from Washington DC, complaining of an email that Tim had sent to a friend. Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own.Tim will be held in isolated confinement until the investigation is concluded. There is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU -- often times they await months for the conclusion of an investigation.

On Eagle Rock, near Big Bay, Mich., in August 2009, activist Tim DeChristopher, third from left, joins participants at Protect the Earth in holding up cups of pure water during a ceremony of appreciation and prayer for keeping the water clean. DeChristopher later poured water from Salt Lake City, where Kennecott Minerals Co. has its headquarters. Kennecott is now drilling a portal to the Eagle Mine under Eagle Rock. DeChristopher also spoke at Northern Michigan University during this 2009 event. (Keweenaw Now file photo © 2009 and courtesy Gabriel Caplett)

In the SHU, Tim's movement and communications are severely restricted. In the past two weeks, he has been allowed out of his 8 x 10 cell (which he shares with another inmate) four times, each time for less than an hour.

Tim is allowed one book in his cell, and four in his property locker. His writing means are restricted to a thin ink cartridge, which makes correspondence extremely difficult. He can receive mail from the outside, but has no other form of communication other than 15 minutes of phone calls per month.

Peaceful Uprising and thousands of supporters around the world found Tim's conviction and sentence to two years of prison time outrageous. However, our outrage (and hopefully yours) has escalated because of the hidden power of public and appointed officials in Washington DC to inflict cruel and unusual punishment on Tim for his courageous stand on protecting the earth and speaking truth to power.

We firmly believe the only way Tim will be returned to the Minimum Security Camp he's been housed in for the last six months is to place outside pressure on elected and appointed officials in Washington DC, specifically the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the members of Congress charged with overseeing the BOP. Peaceful Uprising wishes to express their solidarity with Tim by making a national call to action, asking Tim's supporters to call officials at the Federal Correctional Institution in Herlong CA, the Bureau of Prisons in Washington DC, and members of Congress that sit on the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, demanding that they immediately return Tim to the Minimum Security Camp from which he came.

It has come to our attention that William Koch entered into an antitrust settlement where his company, Gunnison Energy, and SG Interest, a Texas energy company, conspired to orchestrate the bidding at a BLM oil and gas lease auction in Colorado. They memorialized this conspiracy in a memorandum of understanding that was subsequently revealed by a whistleblower. The Department of Justice settled the matter by having each company pay a $275,000 fine, and allowed the conspirators to retain their successful BLM oil and gas leases.*

Tim's actions stopped any such conspiracies without doing any violence or harm to anyone, and now he is in isolation at Herlong potentially for the remainder of his sentence.

This is not justice, it is political persecution. Join us in stopping it. The time for action is now.

For more details please visit: or click here for the complete blog post and contact information for congressmen and others you can call to take action.

* Click here for the Feb. 15, 2012, press release from the U.S. Department of Justice on the settlement for these antitrust violations.

Editor's Note: For background on Tim DeChristopher's sentencing, see our July 27, 2011, article, "Updated: Climate activist Tim DeChristopher sentenced to two years in prison."

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