Updated: Today's the Day: The Trial of "Bidder 70" Begins Updated: Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70, Trial to Start Today

Posted by Ben Jervey

Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70, oil lease, Utah, BLM, trial, tim decristopher
Updated: Today's the day that Tim DeChristopher, aka Bidder 70, goes on trial for disrupting a Bureau of Land Management land auction–one that was set to turn over hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in southern Utah to oil and gas companies.

We've covered DeChristopher a whole bunch in the past couple years (including our interview last year), so we'll keep this brief. Basically, this quiet economics student decided to "be the carbon tax," and consciously performed a peaceful act of civil disobedience. He's now looking at potentially ten years in prison on federal felony charges.

Bryan Walsh has a good, timely summary at TIME, and the Salt Lake City Tribune has great op-ed from a fellow Utah activist that does a good job explaining the symbolic importance of this act of civil disobedience.

On the streets outside of the courthouse today, activists from Salt Lake City and around the country are gathering to show support. If you're in the area—or, heck, if you're following along from afar—check out Peaceful Uprising's site. They've got a map of the march route, tips for how to engage in civil disobedience (or how not to get arrested, if you'd like to keep the record clean), and other options for showing support and getting involved.

Here are other ways to get involved today, even if you're not in Salt Lake City, direct from Peaceful Uprising:

Share your comments supporting Tim and all the people standing in solidarity on the streets of SLC.

Connect on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and spread the word. Use the designated hashtag #bidder70.

Share your photos, videos, and more by emailing bidder70@peacefuluprising.org.

Here's one image that just came in from the march, courtesy of losinghand on Twitter:

Tim DeChristopher, Bidder 70, oil lease, Utah, BLM, trial, tim decristopher
We too stand in solidarity with Bidder 70 today. And I personally will take a long hard look in the mirror today and ask myself what more I should be doing to help defend a livable, secure, healthy future for ours and future generations.

Update: Lots of info flying around from the event today. I'll keep updating below with anything else worth relaying.

  • First, if you want to donate money to DeChristopher's legal fund, you can do so here.
  • The Yes Men sent a note rallying for support for Bidder 70, saying that their pranks are "absolutely nothing compared to the courage and sheer brilliant chutzpah of our friend and comrade Tim DeChristopher, who made history two years ago in Utah, and who's going on trial TODAY for defending the planet against those who would drill, drill, and drill until there's nothing left of anything."
  • 350.org has the best collection on photos from the rally that I've yet found.