Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tim DeChristopher on Bundy Takeover: Gov't is More Afraid of Civil Disobedience Than Armed Militias

"Those [climate] activists that I’m here defending didn’t need AR-15s or assault rifles in order to do civil disobedience... Instead, they had courage and a willingness to put their own bodies on the line... And that’s not what’s happening with the Bundy occupation, but it’s what’s increasingly happening in the climate movement." - Tim DeChristopher

The armed occupation of a federally owned wildlife outpost in remote Oregon has entered its second week. A self-styled right-wing antigovernment militia calling itself the Citizens for Constitutional Freedom took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in support of two ranchers sentenced to prison for setting fires that burned federal land. Leaders of the occupation include Ammon and Ryan Bundy, the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who refused to pay decades’ worth of cattle grazing fees, prompting a standoff with federal rangers in 2014 in Nevada, during which an armed militia rallied to his support.

 A recent piece by the website Waging Nonviolence compares the federal government’s handling of the Bundy case and that of Tim DeChristopher, a climate activist who spent 21 months in federal custody for posing as a bidder in 2008 to prevent oil and gas drilling on thousands of acres of land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management in his home state of Utah. DeChristopher joins us to discuss.

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