NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING
DONATE TODAY
HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    


  June 21, 2011

DeChristopher Sentenced to Two Years in Prison


TRNN Replay of our earlier interview with Tim DeChristopher
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here
   



audio

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter



An awesome daily supply of genuine, un-spun world news - Chris Attwell
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


transcript

MALAK BEHROUZNAMI, JOURNALIST, TRNN: On April 1, 2009, Tim DeChristopher, also known as Bidder 70, was indicted on two felony counts for his participation during a US Bureau of Land Management gas and oil lease auction that took place December 19, 2008, in Salt Lake City. DeChristopher is being accused of disrupting the auction by purchasing 22,000 of 130,000 bids in an attempt to save the land from gas and oil development. The bids comprise a total of $1.7 million, which DeChristopher is unable to pay for.

TIM DECHRISTOPHER, ACTIVIST, PEACEFULUPRISING.ORG: Well, I showed up at the auction, which was very controversial because there was a lot of concerns about the legitimacy of the auction. It was the very last one of the Bush administration. They were auctioning off huge tracts of land outside of Arches and Canyonlands National Park for oil and gas development. So I walked in, and they asked me if I wanted to be a bidder, and so I said yes and ended up with a bidder paddle and then got inside and saw an opportunity to make a really serious stand against this auction. So I started bidding first to drive up the prices, and then actually winning parcels. And I ended up winning 14 parcels before they stopped the auction and took me out and interrogated me at that point.

BEHROUZNAMI: On January 17, 2009, the Bureau of Land Management was found to be at fault for violating environmental protection laws concerning air quality and historic preservation. Federal Judge Ricardo Urbina temporarily froze the sale of 77 parcels. On February 4, 2009, the Obama administration's interior secretary, Ken Salazar, pulled the 77 leases, which included DeChristopher's bids.

DECHRISTOPHER: There were several issues involved in this auction. Probably the one that's gotten the most attention was just the destruction of our national heritage. These were pristine lands right outside of Arches and Canyonlands national parks. And I think a bigger factor is the threat to our climate that's associated with this drill now, think later mentality that is posing a massive threat to our future. And then the other issue involved in it is the lack of a democratic and transparent process, where the BLM wasn't following their own rules in holding this auction. And that's really the reason that it was overturned later on is that the government admitted that the BLM hadn't done an adequate environmental impact statement, they hadn't weighed the consequences, they hadn't discussed things with other government agencies the way they were supposed to. And it also later turned out that the BLM was in violation of a law that went into effect in 2001 requiring them to weigh the impacts of climate change with any decision like this that they make.

BEHROUZNAMI: DeChristopher and his legal team were not permitted to admit this information as evidence during his trial. Also omitted from the trial was the fact that DeChristopher had fundraised $100,000 for the initial payment of $45,000 on the land. In March 2010, DeChristopher's attorneys made a motion to prosecutors requesting more documents on other bidders who had defaulted on their payments. But District Judge Dee Benson didn't push prosecutors to provide the files.

DECHRISTOPHER: You know, there are certainly a lot of people that have talked about the fact that I'm facing ten years and, you know, Tony Hayward and the others from BP haven't faced any consequences [incompr.] action. Don Blankenship and the others responsible for the Big Branch mining disaster that killed 29 miners in West Virginia last year. They're not facing anything. You know, the Halliburton executives who have scammed the United States government and played a role in our wars and that sort of thing aren't facing anything. And a lot of people have talked to me about that and said it doesn't make sense. And I think that in a certain way it does actually make sense that the legal system is a tool of those in power, and so it's going to be used to protect their power. So what I was doing was threatening their power or challenging their power. And so it makes sense that they're going to use that legal system against me. We shouldn't expect those in power to use the legal system against themselves, because it's their tool and they control it. If we want to hold those people accountable for their crimes, there have to be other ways to do it. That's the job of the citizen, not the job of the legal system, because it's really just the tool of those in power.

BEHROUZNAMI: DeChristopher faces up to ten years in prison and is currently awaiting his sentencing by a judge, which will take place June 23. This is Malak Behrouznami for The Real News Network.

End of Transcript

DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.



Comments

Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

latest stories

Apple: The Biggest Tax Cheaters in History Repatriate Profits Under Trump's Tax Bill
Women March in Defiance of Trump
Cape Town Water Wars: A Literal Shitstorm
Massive Oil Spill in East China Sea Is the Size of Paris
Rather Than Address Crime, Baltimore Officials Try to Relocate It
TRNN Replay: Reality Asserts Itself - Troy LaRaviere
Real Media: Former British Diplomat Turned Anarchist
Laura Flanders Show: Star Power for People Power
Consumer Protection Moves to Throw the Weakest Under the Bus
Baltimore Spends Billions on Corporate Subsidies but Can't Heat Its Schools
Can a New Baltimore Police Commissioner Fix a Corrupt Department?
Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War
Korean Olympic Unity Gives US War Plans a 'Bloody Nose'
Set Up By FBI Informant, NODAPL Activist Pleads Guilty
Prosecutors Push on Against 59 Protesters Despite Defeat
Mayor Announces New Baltimore City Community Grants Program
The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
After Hawaii Scare, Trump Worsens Nuclear Danger
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Kevin Davis
2017 Hottest Year On Record Without El Nino Push
Yemen's Crisis is Far Worse Than We're Told
IRS Private Debt-Collection Program is 'Indefensible'
New Orleans Human Rights Resolution Under Attack Because It Could Affect Israel
The Grenfell Community's Silent Steps for Justice
Abbas Gives Up on US, but Palestinians Give Up on Him
Whistleblowers: Congress Has Entrenched the Surveillance State
Catalonia Independence Crisis Intensifies Spain's Political Divide
Repression Against Honduran Opposition Intensifies
The Jobs Trump Promised to Save Are Disappearing
#TheAssistance: Democrats Hand Trump Warrantless Spying

TheRealNewsNetwork.com, RealNewsNetwork.com, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting