Direct Action | Is the Sundance Kid a Criminal?

Civil Resistance: Is the Sundance Kid a Criminal?

Another truth that has become apparent: our climate/environment leaders are not people located in Washington. The leaders are members of the public who understand the situation and

have the courage to act on it. I met a couple of them recently:

Tim DeChristopher, the University of Utah student, who, realizing that it makes no sense to be going after the last drop of oil on pristine public lands, outbid the oil companies for drilling

rights. He has been charged with two felonies (because he had no money to pay for the drilling rights) and is threatened with 10 years in prison (he is facing about $100,000. in legal costs —

you can contribute to his defense at http://www.peacefuluprising.org/). You can see a rationale for Tim’s defense in the above charts. The efforts of fossil interests to go after every last drop of oil may leave his generation with a $12 trillion cleanup bill – that’s just for restoring the air (removing 30 ppm of CO2), without consideration of payment for damage due to rising seas – and what is the price of species exterminated?

Larry Gibson, the Mountain Man near Coal River Mountain who refuses to let Massey Energy blow up the mountain where he lives and his relatives are buried. In my last post http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20090625_CoalRiverMountain.pdf I mentioned Gibson, a target of drive-by shootings. These are the people with real courage – it

made me nervous just to ride in Gibson’s pickup in hostile territory. Larry and I both have pleaded not guilty to charges of obstruction during the protest on 23 June and are requesting a

trial.

On the subject of civil resistance (Mahatma Gandhi explains why civil resistance, as opposed to civil disobedience, is a better philosophy; “The Essential Gandhi”, L. Fischer, Vintage Classics), a recent note from Damian Carrington of the Guardian and Observer reads: Given your involvement in the Kingsnorth trial, I thought you would be interested to know the result of the trial of

the 29 people that stopped a coal train going to Drax. They were found guilty of the main charge after the judge ruled out the necessity defence. We have covered the trial extensively (unlike our competitors) and you can if you

wish read more here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/activism Their closing statement is quite something. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jul/02/drax-protesters-defence-sum-up

I would very much like to include your reaction to the verdict. Could you send me a line or two?

I responded that they are right to keep the focus on the necessity defence. Civil resistance is not easy, but if governments continue to abdicate their responsibility to citizens, in favor of special interests, it seems essential. Strength comes from realization of rightness of course, and should be increased, not diminished, by temporary setbacks.

Read the full paper here:

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2009/20090713_Strategies.pdf

~ by Cory Morningstar on July 19, 2009.

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