Police arrest 26 protesters as emotions run high
DanO:"Monkey wrench an auction in the name of the environment
on parcels that would be withdrawn later anyway, effectively harming no one, get
two years in jail. Torch two churches, get three years of probation. Ah.. Utah
justice"Given that Timothy DeChristopher was tried in a Federal
court on Federal and NOT state of Utah Charges, this statement is either an
indictment of your ignorance of the matter or your biased opinions towards
Utah-take your pick.
Can we put all the other 'disobedients' in with Tim? I mean those who sat in
front of Trax to make their point because nobody would listen to them over at
the courthouse. There is a place for demonstrations, but they need
to be held with respect to the laws, even if they want the laws to be changed.
To break the laws, put others at risk and disrupt lawful flow of commerce is,
theft. Our freedoms are contingent on the free flow of commerce and those who
are protesting Tim's imprisonment are saying that they don't want freedom for
the rest of us. Well, let's give them what they want for themselves, and that's
a loss of their freedoms.1 year behind bars, restitution to all
those on the trains, cost of the police and 100 hours of community service for
each one sounds like a good start to me.
teafortwoYou make too much sense. If only I could express such
truths in so few words.
"the rule of law must prevail"Thank you, Judge Benson, for
having the courage to stand up to these left-wing environmental extremists. If
they ever get their way this country will be ruined, not just economically but
constitutionally as well. Let Mr. DeChristopher accept the consequences of his
actions and do his time for breaking the law, just like everyone else.
myself @ 10:52Climate change is normal and natural. It is also
inevitable and unavoidable. Don't let it ruin your day. There is absolutely
NOTHING we can do about it.....
"There are people who belong in prison but Tim DeChristopher is not one of
them," said attorney Ron Yengich.Yengich is wrong.. again. He's
the one that has lost touch with common sense. Mr. DeChristopher broke the law
and has had his day in court.. now he gets his days in prison. I'd say that's a
deterrent to anyone else thinking of doing the same thing!
I think that the sentence was fair. I see an irony here that his
protestor friends stopped a light rail train. A vehicle that was created and
being used to help the environment. Something is wrong with this picture. They
say they are trying to protecting the environment but as an act of hate they
stop an environment friendly vehicle. Opps!I wonder if
there are 26 more federal facilities with vacancies for the protestors.
You people can bash climate science all you want. There is too much science to
deny the planet is warming. Just send an email to Kevin Eubank of KSL and see
what he has to say about global warming. This man was trying to make a
difference. Many will hear his story and fill his shoes. It is not in vein.
People like Tim DeChristopher are why we must buy natural resources from
overseas while our own (which are vast and varied) sit useless in the ground.
Lost in the process are billions of dollars that are gone forever and thousands
and thousands of high-paying jobs. We have the technology to extract natural
resources in an environmentally sound way. But extract them we must. Let's get
on with it......
Don't feel sorry for DeChristopher. He'll probably be assigned to serve in the
so-called "country club" prison network, maybe down at Nellis AFB.
There are no guards (only guidelines that if violated earn you trip to the big
house), no bars and rooms that are like College Dorms. You get 3 hot square
meals a day, television, a nicely equipped gym to work out in. And in the day,
they often do jobs away from the facility such as janitorial work, cutting the
grass, painting, etc. Many inmates there take online educational courses, and
can receive regular visits from family and friends. And this is
Hope he serves every second of it.....
So, this looks, and infact is selective harsh punishment. I ask myself why Tim
DeChristopher is going to jail for disrupting an illegal auction where Utah's
public lands were being offered for exploitation (without proper vetting) and
yet a Utah "lawmaker" is permitted to get away with destruction of
public land, when there are video tapes of him rallying his posse. Judge Dee
Benson and that US attorneys office did ABSOLUTELY nothing to defend Federally
protected land in southern Utah from Utah Senator Mike Noel (Kanab) who led an
act of civil disobedience by organizing a rally of like minded protestors who
then drove ATVs through protected fragile desert landscapes. What's the deal
with Judge Benson...who says civil disobedience has a place, but not in the case
of Tim DeChristopher, a principled student...but apparently in the case of a
Utah legislator, Mike Noel...well, okay fine. The environment has no status
with thie Judge as it has none with most Utah Legislators. I'm impressed by
DeChristopher, and deeply disturbed at his sentence. A pardon is in order
or....an arrest of Mike Noel?!
For those of you saying this is not civil disobedience, I have to disagree.
This is the very definition of it. He believed a law was wrong and he willfully
disobeyed it, without harming anyone in the process. He did not resist arrest,
in fact he was very up front about his intentions when he committed the crime.
In his trial, he explained why he did the crime and why he thinks the law is
wrong. When he was convicted, he told his followers that he would be going to
jail. He never complained about it. I see the judges point of view as
well...he can't decide what laws should and should not be followed. That's not
his role. But just because someone puts up the defense that the law is
incorrect, doesn't mean they aren't practicing civil disobedience...quite the
opposite. Maybe if he'd plead temporary insanity or something, but he didn't.
He has accepted his punishment. He has never complained that he was being
wronged, only that the environment was being wronged.
Oldmanwinter, if you are talking about Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, I'm with you
on prosecuting them.Otherwise DeChristopher and his minions are a
bunch of crybabies.
I expect that now the prosecutors will bring charges against Mike Noel and his
fellow hooligans who defied federal law by ripping up the Paria River canyon en
masse with their ATVs last year. Or is the law to be used only against people
who want to SAVE the environment?
A couple of comments about your story in this morning's paper.First,
'This is not Rosa Parks' would have worked as a sidebar headline but not as the
main head. In that space, you could have said: Activist gets 2 years After all,
that was the news.Second, in the lead sentence in your story, the
defense calls the judge "a poster child for civil disobedience." This
came as a big surprise to me, because it has been widely reported that
DeChristopher was the one who was engaging in civil disobedience. If the judge
is indeed a poster child for civil disobedience, the Deseret News should
immediately demand his resignation.
Dee Benson's political sense of justice is hilarious. Tim is not the first
bidder of public lands to default on his bid and he won't be the last. Why
aren't these other bidders in front of a judge for fraud?
The reality check is; you do the crime, you do the time. Civil disobedience is a
willful premeditated act and the perpetrator accepts the responsibility for
his/her actions. Those demonstrating in his defense also had the option of going
home or being booked into jail with the attendant cost to themselves and
taxpayers. It's called choice and consequences.
Tim's attorney said that "such a sentence tells followers that the country
operates within a system of justice that is deaf to common sense."No, this just sentence tells Tim's followers that the country operates within
a system of justice that is deaf to partisan political excuses...left, right or
loony. At least that's the message if our system works.Basically,
Tim wanted the PR benefits of civil disobedience (i.e. breaking the law) without
the consequences...and his argument for that exemption? That he held
liberal/progressive views on public lands oil leasing. Judge Benson had no
choice but to sentence him. The moment we allow partisan political arguments as
a defense for breaking the law, we will start to lose that rule of law. The
place to make political arguments is in the legislative process, not the courts.
The left seems to use political arguments for breaking laws
ominously often: "yeah, I broke the law, but Bush did this..." or
"Banks got away with that..."I've got news for you, Obama's done
a WHOLE LOT of "this & that" that's bad for the country, but that
doesn't give me a free pass to break the law.
his actions had nothing to do with global warming or climate change ( thers no
such thing as global warming ) but there is climate change taking place he is
just another one of those anti goverment individuals who protest anything the
goverment does and he feels that the first Amendment gives him the right to
break the law. well it doesnt. he got just what he deserves if the judge would
of given him 3 yrs it would of been fine with me to . well now he can protest to
his hearts content for the next two years and good luck finding anyone there
that cares about his cause,
To oldmanwinter:Everyone else's fault except Tim's, right? Is that
what you're trying to say?I thought prison time was a badge of honor
for tree huggers. Tim should accept the punishment like a man. He could have
gotten 10 years. He should feel fortunate, bide his time, and when he gets out,
he can be greeted and honored lovingly by his kooky minions.
DeChristopher a hero?Gag me with a spoon.
so what are the eco-terrorists who disrupted traffic with their juvenile
protests going to do to counter-act the additional carbon footprint that came as
a result?Did they ever think how oxymoronic they looked chaining
themselves together in front of one of their shrines, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?Of course, we can deduce by their presence there that they are not
otherwise productive members of society - as they apparently have no employment.
Do they live off welfare, unemployment, the earned income credit, or Mommy and
Let's go out and impede our fellow citizens movements by blocking the railroad
tracks so we can feel good about ourselves. Sit around, do nothing,
inconveniece others, that's the way to improve our society and our
environment.Pathetic is what this demonstration is!
So now we know... 2 years for Eco-terrorism. Far to short of a
This is a good sentence for DeChristopher if he truly believes that what he was
doing was civil disobedience. In the case of Dr Martin Luther King, the majority
of the population understood what he was doing and eventually felt symphathetic
for his cause. I doubt that in this case the majority of the population feels
this way about DeChristopher. So in my opinion Judge Benson got it right when he
called DeChristophers actions leading to anachy and a misguided stunt to run
amok of society and he needed to pay a penalty for his actions.
This sentence is far too short. When people disturb the peaceful flow of normal
business they are knowingly violating the law. Longer sentences such as ten
years will cause trouble makers to think a bit. They may even get a job instead
of living off of others. If they were working and making a contribution to
society, they would have much less time to cause trouble.
I have respect for Christoher though I disagree with his decision; he did what
he though was right and will suffer the consequences for his decision. I have
no respect whatsoever for those who blocked traffic in protest- they should be
thrown in jail for a few days and fined heavily.
@DanO: As I understand it, these were Federal charges brought for offenses
committed in UT. Don't blame Utah justice for enforcing laws. If you want
DeChristopher released, appeal to President Obama for a pardon. The whole thing
could have been avoided if DeChristopher had bid on good faith, paid the bill,
and taken those leases out of circulation.
I just think its funny hearing authoritarian nationalists talk about our nation
being founded on lawful obedience.Laud MLK and Rosa Parks all you like,
but when it comes down to it and without the benefit of hindsight, your ideology
would have condemned them as your parents most likely did, until it became
unpopular to do so.Likewise, your children will view your generation in
shame and you'll be just like that "racist grandma/grandpa" you didn't
want your friends to talk to
ParkCityAggie: DeChristofer is a hero, and the Government just helped him
solidify that status!I'm confident that they were more than happy to
What none of the anti environment people fail to realize is that as much as
DeChristopher lost, big oil won. Again. Giant corporations won. Again. And next time it's the people vs giant corporations, guess who's going
to win. Again. Everyone who is cheering for DeChristopher's harsh 2 year
sentence is also cheering the fact that only the people face justice in this
country, while atrocities committed by banks, corporations and industries go
unpunished. Not one person from Wall Street will ever be sentenced
for bringing down our entire economy, yet some stole billions and ruined
millions of lives. Not one person from BP will ever face charges for negligence,
yet they single handedly brought down entire industries.I think it
is the responsibility of true patriots to rebel against injustice, but it seems
like most are simply willing to embrace it.
Did the protestors who caused a traffic jam in downtown SLC today consider that
just might have been contributing to global warming? Talk about
This guy is a complete phony. He never did anything before or after his
"Zuckerberg-like" antic for the earth or the environment. His story
has so morphed since it began that I would bet he does not even remember what he
told those on the Wright campaign when this first came out. He is our version of
Paris Hilton: someone who believes their own press releases and is famous for
being famous. He should have been forced to pay for what he cost the taxpayer
and not been allowed to leave Utah for his celebrity fundraisers until we were
YES! Logic and justice prevailed! Let this be an example to others that you
can't force your will and extremist views on the world by trying to illegally
beat the system. If you do the crime, you will pay the time! This guy is only a
hero in his own mind and sadly in a few other eco extremists with no respect for
law and civility.
As Martin Luther King said; willingly facing the penalty is part of civil
DN Subscriber:Part of what makes America is great is our legal
system, even when it has some questionable verdicts. Everyone is guaranteed a
"vigorous defense." These stories should feel no shame. End of
Far to lenient a sentence, especially with no real financial penalty.However, it will have to do.Now, I just hope the protest folks are
prosecuted to the full extent of the law as well.Who were his
attorneys who were working "pro bono?" The public should know which
lawyers are donating their time to cases like this.
Tim is willing to pay the price for standing up for his beliefs. He has
continued to advocate, when renouncing probably would have helped his personal
situation. But why is he going to jail when no one from BP did?
My question: even used auto auctions pre-qualifies bidders. How could a curious
college student walk in, be signed up and handed a bid paddle--if bidding is
taken so seriously, except for outrage that he acted on his serious political
beliefs? Against the powerful oil and gas industry? His legal defense was not
allowed to raise his sincere concerns about global climate change as his motive
rather than common criminal motives. His legal defense was not allowed to ask
for information on other auction bidders who failed to complete purchases.
Surely checks have bounced without somebody going to prison? I
would like to see him spared. At the same time, I believe the earth is reacting
to the follies of humans and so Tim's message is very important. Jail time for
him will serve to activate many people to rally to the cause of protecting the
environment. We are no longer innocent bystanders. Lee Anne
Actions have consequences. If DeChristopher didn't want to go to jail he should
have participated in the political process in lawful way. I'm not
sure how I feel about two years. I think it is a waste of his life and a waste
of tax payer money. But the penalty is set under the law and there
isn't much the Court can do.Hopefully this will instruct others on
the improper way to influence the government ans show them the life has
What a shame because global warming Is a myth.
GB, Wall Street "criminals" generally aren't dumb enough to announce
their crime to a federal official's face. More evidence that Bill
Clinton's greatest legacy was making it an article of Democratic faith that
lying under oath is officially No Big Deal.
A sad day for the US justice system that fails to go after Wall Street criminals
and puts away DeChristopher for two years.
This verdict says a lot about our "justice system". It says that
disrupting oil auctions is a more serious offense than assault, theft, and
dealing drugs, none of those crimes are likely to get you 2 years in prison. It
also says that oil companies and other large corporations are controlling our
judicial system. We live in a society where corporations can harm
citizens without consequence, nobody from Chevron did any time for poisoning
SLC's water supply twice last year, but if a citizen slights the oil industry
they get up to 10 years.People want to throw the book at
DeChristopher because they don't believe in his cause not because they think he
committed a serious offense.This is a serious injustice and his
sentence is politically motivated.
One should always honor, obey and sustain the law. But what was so terrible
that this fellow did when those like Bush and his cohorts invaded a sovereign
nation (Iraq) on the ruse of ridding Saddam of WMDs but none were found and
later they would say 'we thought that had WMDs'. What has been gained and the
truth of the matter is this is the crux of the debt we have in this country?
Bush and his cohorts are now living a life of luxury with R and R and no crime
committed when they should be tried for 'crimes against humanity and war crimes'
but there is no law for what they have done by killing, maiming, destroying
livelihoods, a country's infrastructure and scorching their earth. $17. billion
dollars lost and unaccounted for during their watch and no crime for this
either. Read where Bush is making millions giving speeches, why is this not
this money garnish to help repay the cost of a war that should never have been?
Oh no, the Republicans are mostly Christians but they love war!! And how does
this fit in with Alma Chapter 43? Tell it like it is!!!
Many of you writing in support of him are making some purely emotional
arguments. "Illegal auction?" Try that argument when you fail to pay
your "illegal taxes." "Utah justice?" This was a federal
case and a federal judge. Had nothing to do with Utah.We are a
nation of laws. Break them and you must be prepared to pay the consequences.
Given the penalty he might have received, he got off lightly.
We should also arrest and try Salazar who said that after 10-years we haven't
studied the situation enough and cancelled the leases even though all the laws
had been followed.
"He lied, obstructed lawful government proceedings and caused extraordinary
loss to others".Now he's a convicted felon. I hope he learned
his lesson. Next time he's about to break the law perhaps he'll actually think.
I don't have a problem not agreeing with the law, but there are legal ways to
change it. Until then, obey!
2 years seems about right to me. Enough time that it is a real punishment but
not so long that he won't still have time to actually make an attempt at having
a productive life rather than the sham he lives now. Also to those
here claiming the lease auction was illegal, no it wasn't. Just because a lib
obama appointed shill decried it to be "illegal" doesn't make it so.
Buerocrats proclaiming something "illegal" have no more validity than
another buerocrat later calling it "legal". Remember that when the
Republican president elected next year appoints someone that makes the opposite
decrie. I expect none of you enviro whacko's to make a cingle complaint about it
because you are the ones that are claiming that they can make those calls. If
one can do it then another can do it the opposite way.
According to one of the founders of DeChristopher's religion, Al Gore, the world
only has 4.5 years left before the effect of global warming will be
irreversible. Too bad for him to be spending almost half of his remaining time
I don't know why some of you are thrilled about this, his stay is on our dime!
Perhaps the BLM will think twice before holding a rushed lease sale of our land
that, a sale of leases some of which were illegal themselves! Our land should
not be leased for pennies on the dollar to two-bit investors looking to make a
fast buck at our expense! Why not require a plan from each bidder on how they
intend to extract the natural resources, etc., and maybe even require some
profit sharing to help manage our land better? DeChristofer is a hero, and the
Government just helped him solidify that status! So those of you who are
thrilled about this, thinking some "hippy" was just trying to stick it
to the man and got what he deserved, think again.
Lauded you say? By whom? No one that matters in the real world.
I think a significant fine would have worked much better. To be payed by work
assigned by the court..2 years labor on a Uinta Basin oil rig. He would get to
know the guys whose lives he was screwing with and learn how to work. And he may
just learn to enjoy those nice warm summer days.
This crook hurt the families of those who were trying to make a living doing
their jobs. That's who he hurt. Artificially making the price go up on something
is fraud. (ie gov control on oil/corn/wheat etc.) This man deserves to spend
time in jail for his crime.
Convicted felons are also faced with other consequences for their actions. 1. loses the right to become an elector and cannot vote, hold public
office, or run for office, although he can have these rights restored; 2. is disqualified from jury service for seven years, or while he is a
defendant in a pending felony case (CGS § 51-217); 3. loses
the ability to have firearms; and 4. could lose a professional
license or permit, although licensing agencies are restricted in their ability
to revoke licenses because a person cannot be disqualified from engaging in any
occupation, profession, or business for which a state license or permit is
required solely because of a prior conviction of a crime except under certain
conditions.Good luck young man hope you have learned a lesson.
Arby, this country's foundation was in fact an act of civil disobedience.
Remember that Tea Party so often trumpeted? What about the actions taken against
Johnston's Army? Those were also acts of civil disobedience.
This isn't the way to change " the system". You are privileged to
live in this free country that is governed by laws. If you want to change the
system, change the laws. But as long as this is legal, don't get in the way.
The way to stop gas and oil leases is to change the laws and procedures of the
government. Not to interfere with a legally held auction. Elect those that
support your views and opinions. If they don't win and change the laws, you
still have to live within the law. But if they are elected to office, they can
change those laws and procedures. Enjoy living in this country of freedom,
governed by laws. Because if it was up totally up to me, I would lock up all the
enviromental wackos in this country. But we have laws.
Seems about right.
OK now that we just sent a Tim to prison now maybe we can go after others who
have committed similar crimes and actually harmed people (note that Tim was
convicted of Financial Fraud). Lets start with those who planned and started the
financial crisis and sent many nations and millions of people into financial
hardship.And what about the federal employees who tried to illegally
auction off the land in the first place? Now can we fire them?Tim stopped
an illegal auction, our federal government was overreaching its power and it
took civil disobedience to stop it. Republicans should have a lot to praise Tim
for.And what about the moronic federal employee who allowed Tim to bid? It
seems easier to bid on federal land that to fly on an airplane. Aren't there
other issues here?
The classic modern statement of the doctrine of civil disobedience, in Martin
Luther King's 1963 "Letter from Birmingham Jail," explains that a
person may, in good conscience, break a law he considers unjust, so long as he
does so openly, lovingly, and willing to accept the penalty.Mr.
DeChristopher, attempting to assert the "necessity" defense, was not
willing to accept the penalty for breaking the law. Therefore, his disobedience
of the law was not truly civil disobedience -- just ordinary, immoral
lawlessness. Time in the pokey is well-justified.
The 2 years sounds about right to me. Maybe he can get out early if he is nice.
Monkey wrench an auction in the name of the environment on parcels that would be
withdrawn later anyway, effectively harming no one, get two years in jail. Torch
two churches, get three years of probation. Ah.. Utah justice.
I wonder if someone were to outbid him in every attempt to purchase a home, to
protest his view, if he'd feel the same way about his actions.Just a
Wonderful!Enjoy your stay!