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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.

Judge Can Sentence But Not Silence Tim DeChristopher

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: activism, energy, wilderness, climate change, environment, The Progressive, Keith Goetzman,


Tim DeChristopher is the only person to have been named an Utne Reader visionary while in prison: He’s serving a two-year sentence for disrupting a federal oil and gas lease auction in Utah in an act of environmental protest.

One reason I nominated DeChristopher as a visionary is because he became a hugely inspirational figure to other environmentalists as he wrote and spoke about his principled act of civil disobedience right up until he was led to his cell. But make no mistake: He is in prison mainly because he dared to continue speaking out.

Utah environmentalist and author Terry Tempest Williams writes in The Progressive about the farcical nature of DeChristopher’s four-day trial, which she attended along with a legion of other supporters:

DeChristopher himself, in an August letter from prison published by Grist, showed that he understood all too clearly the connection between his ongoing outspokenness and his sentence:

Source: The Progressive, Grist