It sometimes feels as though the pyjamhideen are the only radical activists left. Sitting in their anonymous lofts, fingers flying across their keyboards.
I am heartened today to learn of a truly old fashioned student activist. 27 year old Tim DeChristopher. Respect young man!
In the dying days of the Bush administration, he learnt that the Bureau of Land Management was auctioning off 150,000 acres of wilderness in Utah.
Not for Tim the comforts of the student bar and a greasy kebab on route to a meaningless discussion; nor a hastily printed t-shirt or hand drawn placard.
This young man marched down to the auction and promptly bid for a total of 22,000 acres! Price no object – since he didn’t have any money – his actions promptly pushed up the prices of the remaining 80% of land parcels.
Tim says that, because of the challenges of climate change he had come to the realisation that the time for talking was over, and the time for action was now.
“This year I have come to terms with the idea that I might be my own best hope to defend my future. Hopefully all of us will realize that we are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Needless to say, he was arrested and questioned by the FBI, although unless he failed to come up with a $45,000 deposit by last week-end, they would have been powerless to charge him with fraud. Publicising his stand on the Internet resulted in that $45,00 being raised……the US Government are now ‘deliberating’ on whether to accept his money or not! As the prosecutor has yet to file charges, it uncertain how aggressive the government will be in prosecuting their case against him. According to his lawyer, the prosecution is wrestling with two options; between the hawks, those who would like to seek the maximum sentence and attempt to make an example of Mr. DeChristopher (with the strong support of the established energy interests), and the doves, (especially the Bureau of Land Management who were ordered to auction off this land) who are somewhat sympathetic to Tim’s position and would prefer to see his sentence in the form of community service, assisting with EIS studies (Environmental Impact Statements) for example.
Noticeably lacking has been any show of support for Tim from established environmental organizations.
To voice your support for Tim DeChristopher or assist with his legal defence go to Bidder70.org .