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On Tuesday, Tim DeChristopher, the face of an environmental movement that objects to the greed of oil and gas companies and Wall Street speculators, was sentenced to 2 years in prison by the Salt Lake City federal courthouse.
To many, DeChristopher is David against the mighty Goliath of fossil fuel industry — his battle has been described as the meaningful fight for justice and a livable future and his supporters have expressed that they will not be intimidated by federal prosecutors attempt to make ‘an example’ out of Mr. DeChristopher.
His trial and sentencing was based on a direct action at the end of the Bush administration where he acted as a bidder at an oil and gas auction. Despite the auction being deemed fraudulent later on, DeChristopher was still held accountable for his action, according a report by The Guardian.
He was found guilty in March of this year and shortly after, told one reporter from Grist, an environmental news site, that he had known all along that he would be convicted. “The judge ruling that I wasn’t allowed to use the necessity defense, and things like that. Not giving us access to information about what role the oil industry played in the indictment. With those rulings, it made it more and more likely that I was going to get convicted,” said and otherwise good-spirited DeChristopher back in March.
The sentence on Tuesday marked the end of the activist-turned-environmental-folk-hero’s doomed battle with the federal court — he was taken into custody immediately, denying him the typical 3 weeks of putting his affairs in order. He also has to pay a $10,000 fine for disrupting federal oil and gas auctions.
According to Grist, DeChristopher was “feeling good about having stood up for what he feels is right.” He is positive about his success of not becoming a victim of society, despite the personal consequences of his action.
The organization Peaceful Uprising reported that Jury members on the trial had felt intimidated by the process and the pressure of the fossil fuel lobby to make a conviction.
Tim DeChristopher spoke on the eve of his sentencing about his reflection on the grounds for the trial. You wonder — who did the real harm to the public?
Image Courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/350org/