Monday, 18 July 2011

Bill McKibbon on Tim DeChristopher

Veteran climate activist Bill McKibbon, the man behind 350.org, among other things, has sounded off about local monkeywrencher Tim DeChristopher. As Peaceful Uprising* put it:

Friend and ally Bill McKibben wrote a piece on our friend and co-founder Tim DeChristopher. He also wrote the first novel for a general audience on global warming, and founded 350.org, which staged the most widespread day of political action in history.


It's an excellent read. A choice bit:

It’s easy to tell [that the government's goal is to stifle civil disobedience], because of the charges the feds decided to bring. DeChristopher’s crime was disrupting a BLM auction of oil and gas leases. It was—by absolutely every account—a political act, part of the long tradition of civil disobedience in this country that stretches back at least as far as Henry David Thoreau, who spent a night in the Concord jail for refusing to pay his taxes.

But that’s not what the federal government went after DeChristopher for. Instead, they charged him with financial fraud—as if his goal had somehow been to make money from his actions. As a result he faces not a night in jail but many years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of fines.

That’s absurd. For one thing, this is the same federal government that—faced with the greatest financial fraud in the history of the world, one that nearly sunk the whole world’s economy—couldn’t find a single banker to bring to justice. This is the kind of prosecutorial discretion that is supposed to make us feel better about Washington’s power? It’s the very definition of overreach.


Sentencing is still set for July 26th.

* - Full disclosure; while not technically employed by Peaceful Uprising, I am doing some volunteer work for them, and my sister is co-director.

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