This afternoon at 3 p.m. at the west end of Washington Square (451 S. State) in Salt Lake City, the activist group Peaceful Uprising will be marking the one-year anniversary of Tim DeChristopher's sentencing to prison and also protesting the American Legislative Exchange Council.
The protest will begin with a moment of silence for DeChristopher, who co-founded Peaceful Uprising. He was sent to prison for two years for disrupting a federal oil and lease auction. His punishment stood out in contrast to the treatment of previous bidders, who had been unable to pay for leases they won, PU notes in a press release.
PU's Henia Belalia drew a direct link between DeChristopher's prison time and the activities of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
"For more than 10 years, ALEC has pushed what is known as the Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act, an oppressive law that attempts to intimidate activists by criminalizing free speech and peaceful, nonviolent resistance. The prosecution of Tim DeChristopher is a product of this 'green scare' culture that ALEC helped develop and continues to push."
ALEC, which PU describes as a "stealth lobbying organization composed of corporations and thousands of state lawmakers from across the country," is holding its annual one-week meeting in Salt Lake City at the Grand American Hotel through July 28.