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Rallies planned to surround DeChristopher trial next week

by Jesse Fruhwirth
- Posted // 2011-02-21 -

One week from today, Salt Lake City environmental activist Tim DeChristopher will stand trial and activists hope the city's streets will bloom with rallies showing support for his action, along with including celebrity guests, national activists and local supporters.

So-called "Bidder 70" DeChristopher has built some celebrity in activist circles for his sabotage of a federal lease auction in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration. Environmentalists accused the Bush administration of hastily auctioning off the rights to extract oil and gas from public lands in Southern Utah surrounding ecological gems like Arches National Park. DeChristopher is accused of making bids on many of the parcels--driving up the price for other bidders--but also winning some of the auctions, despite having no ability or intention of paying. In pretrial motions, prosecutors have successfully prevented him from arguing before the jury that he committed the action to save the planet from climate change. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Salt Lake City activist group Peaceful Uprising, which DeChristopher co-founded, has organized several events leading up to and surrounding the trial.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • DeChristopher himself will speak Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Vieve Gore Concert Hall at Westminster College, to open the Uprising Summit, a series of weekend meetings and classes on civil disobedience and other topics.
  • Former Democratic congressional candidate Claudia Wright, Equality Utah Executive Director Brandie Balken and Salt Lake City Councilman Luke Garrot will speak Saturday afternoon.
  • Peter Yarrow--of Peter, Paul and Mary--with daughter Bethany Yarrow will lead a midnight vigil around the First Unitarian Church at 569 S. 1300 East
  • Finally, on Monday, a march will begin at 8 a.m., beginning at Pioneer Park and ending at the Federal Court house in Salt Lake City where DeChristopher's trial will begin.

Also coming to Salt Lake City to show support are Hollywood actress and frequent activist Daryl Hannah, author and environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams and Alex Ebert of rock band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

City Weekly will be there to cover the trial and the rallies. Check CityWeekly.net for updates.

For more information, to go http://www.peacefuluprising.org/climate-trial

Below, City Weekly's Erik Daenitz caught up with rally organizers as they prepare for the many events. 


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