Earth Day Exclusive: Tim DeChristopher S

Earth Day Exclusive: Tim DeChristopher Speaks Out After 21 Months in Prison for Disrupting Oil Bid http://bit.ly/ZJN5zt Transcript This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. AMY GOODMAN : This is Democracy Now! , democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report . I’m Amy Goodman. As the world marks Earth Day, we spend the rest of the hour with climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher, who has just been released after 21 months in federal custody. Tim DeChristopher was convicted of interfering with a public auction in 2008 when he disrupted the Bush administration’s last-minute move to auction off oil and gas exploitation rights in Utah, where he was a student at the time. DeChristopher posed as a bidder, won drilling lease rights to 22,000 acres of land in an attempt to save the property from oil and gas extraction. The auction itself was later overturned and declared illegal, a fact that Tim’s defense attorneys were prevented from telling the jury. They were also barred from informing jurors that Tim had raised the money for the initial payment to the Bureau of Land Management, a payment the BLM refused to accept. Tim DeChristopher’s case is the subject of a documentary called Bidder 70 , which will screen all over the country today to mark his release as well as Earth Day. Tim DeChristopher will give his first public address tonight at the Salt Lake City screening, which will be streamed to theaters around the country. Let’s go to a trailer from the film, Bidder 70 , which opens for a week run in New York on May 17th. AUCTIONEER : Two and a quarter in the back, and now to two and a half. Two and a half— BIDDER : Twenty-two. AUCTIONEER : Thank you. Do I have three and a half? TIM DECHRISTOPHER : They said, “Hi. Are you here for the auction?” And I said, “Yes, I am.” And they said, “Are you here to be a bidder?” And I said, “Well, yes, I am.” AUCTIONEER : Sold, $ 50 to bidder number 70. REPORTER : An environmentalist threw a controversial oil and gas lease auction into turmoil today. REPORTER : Well, Tim DeChristopher says he’s willing to go to jail, and it’s possible that’s where he’ll wind up. I think it’s fair to say you are unrepentant. TIM DECHRISTOPHER : Yes, I think that would be fair to say. This is the formal charges against me, United States of America v. Tim DeChristopher . UNIDENTIFIED : Do you feel outnumbered? TIM DECHRISTOPHER : A little bit. Three hundred million to one. ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST : When you take a courageous action that’s based in heart and courage, as Tim did, you’ll have people stand with you and beside you and follow in your footsteps. TIM DECHRISTOPHER : This is not the first time that we’ve had 10,000 people in one room reminding us that we are not alone. RON YENGICH : Twelve citizens, like you are I, ought to be able to hear what the evidence is, and then they make the decision as to whether or not he committed a violation of law or the government did at the time. TIM DECHRISTOPHER : To see this land and this view, and to know that there’s not going to be an oil rig in the way, there’s not going to be a road cut right through the middle of it, there’s no way that I could ever regret what I did. UNIDENTIFIED : Civil disobedience is forever linked not to living one’s principles, but being willing to suffer for those principles. UNIDENTIFIED : When they close that door behind you, they don’t open up ’til they decide to let you go. ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST : If there was ever a moment in history for us to stand for climate justice, this is that moment! TIM DECHRISTOPHER : The way that the environmental movement has been, it’s like a football game. And our team is getting slaughtered. The refs have been paid off, and the other side is playing with dirty tricks. And so, it’s no longer acceptable for us to stay in the stands. It’s time to rush the field, and it’s time to stop the game. AMY GOODMAN : The trailer for Bidder 70 , directed by Beth and George Gage. We go now to Salt…

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