Tim DeChristopher was imprisoned for bidding on land during what was later found to have been an illegal auction the George W. Bush administration held to sell off public lands to oil and gas companies. In 2011, TreeHugger named him "Person of the Year" for his courageous activism. And now, after two years in prison, DeChristopher has been released. In the video above, he speaks with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now about his case, his time in prison and where the climate movement should go from here.
Laurel Whitney at Desmog Blog has a good review of DeChristopher's case and how he was targeted for his climate activism:
Legal documents from Tim's sentencing indicate that the main reason for Tim receiving jail time was not necessarily because his crime was heinous, but rather because of what he said after his conviction. The government's prosecutors proposed 7 years incarceration in order to "be sure, a federal prison term here will deter others from entering a path of criminal behavior."
Judge Dee Benson, the Utah judge presiding over the case, stated during the sentencing hearing that Tim may not have received any time if he hadn't roused the crowd on the steps of the courthouse after being issued a guilty verdict. Or if he hadn't further continued to address audiences around the country afterward about total system change, overthrowing the fossil fuel industry, and creating an economy that works better for everyone instead of protecting the interests of a small percentage of ultra wealthy.
For more on DeChristopher's case, visit Peaceful Uprising and see our previous coverage at the links to the left.