A Spark of Hope

It is obviously a very dark time in the world– and in our country. It’s hard to even look the paper or TV- or listen to the radio (however you get your regular dose of news).
Maybe, like me, you’re just exhausted from the relentless shocks to the system that all these visions and reports of wars, murders, disease, corruption, poverty and pure insanity engender.
In particular, after last Tuesday’s great giveaway by The President, it’s hard to have any hope that the country can be reclaimed from the pirates and their hired (or, at the very least, cowed and brainwashed) politicians, judges and agency heads.

But, once in a while, there is a brief glimmer of hope in this bleak landscape…
One such glimmer is a man named Tim DeChristopher who was sentenced to two years in Federal Prison in Federal Court in Salt Lake on July 26th.
Briefly–here’s the background:
“…In the waning days of the Bush presidency, an auction of 130,000 acres of pristine Utah lands near national parks was organized by the Bureau of Land Management as a last-minute gift to the oil and gas industry. The auction was disrupted by climate activist Tim DeChristopher, then a 27-year-old economics student, who successfully bid for $1.7 million in parcels. Although the Bush leasing plan was found in court to be flawed and has been withdrawn, today DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in federal prison, fined $10,000 for his act of civil disobedience, and taken immediately into custody…”

NOTE— Mr. DeChristopher did not even remotely have the money to cover his bids—and had no intention of paying for them, even if he did.

Also note that Bureau of Land Management—perhaps the most corrupt and inefficient Federal Agency in the last decade (And that’s really an achievement), had to vacate the results of the entire auction of what is, in fact, your land and mine, because they never did the appropriate environmental damage studies. After all, why should they? They’ve been getting away with this theft and corruption for decades.

Anyway… after a sham of a trial, in which Mr. DeChristopher was denied all sorts of valid and constitutional legal arguments by the presiding judge, he was sentenced to two years taken straight from the courtroom to prison!
The government considers this man to be such a dangerous criminal that he couldn’t even be allowed to go free while he appeals his case. These are the same Feds that let Mafia murderers and Wall Street pirates walk out of court while their cases are on appeal, but not Tim DeChristopher.
What is even more amazing, the prosecutor actually stated— on the record—that one reason they didn’t want him walking around free was that he might influence other people to commit similar acts of civil disobedience! So much for free speech.

Mr. DeChristopher ran afoul of the people who own and run this country—that was his real crime—not violating the sham rules of some rigged Federal auction; and for that he has been imprisoned. He’s lucky if they don’t rid get of him altogether. When you are articulate and brave and stand in these people’s way, your put your life on the line. American history is filled with such sad examples.
In any case—what I hope you all will read is Tim DeChristopher’s statement to the court at the time of his sentencing.

I’m sure most of us have read the great—sometimes history-changing—speeches that Americans have made. I believe that this sentencing statement should make that list of important speeches; and I’m talking about Debs, Lincoln and Martin Luther King, among other people.
Some of it concerns details of the trial and amounts of money that were involved, but the core of his remarks are truly uplifting and inspiring.
He is one young man that is an example for the rest of us, old and young. And no matter how fatigued and despairing we may be, it’s important to know that people like Tim DeChristopher still exist—that it hasn’t all become celebrity dancing, 100 million dollar football contracts, social networking, video games and tweeting.

Here’s the link to his statement: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/26-13
(If that doesn’t work, just google: Tim DeChristopher Statement to the court)

DeChristopher is also the inspiration for a environment protest group called: Peacefuluprising.org
Worth checking them out as well.

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