Tim DeChristopher urban eco warrior
I am neither handy with a monkey-wrench, nor am I much of an outdoorsman, but when environmentalist Tim DeChristopher took the eco fight to a federal land lease auction, it was an example of disruptive activism for which I know I am qualified. There is an undisturbed comfort in thinking one person cannot make a difference, even if just in lacking for ideas how. Dare I say for most of us, now DeChristopher and Ebay have closed that loophole.
This week, Ken Salazar, the new Secretary of the Interior, moved to invalidate the Utah land-use leases which Bush & co tried to give to the extraction industries in the last minutes of his administration.
But back in December, Tim De Christopher and his fellow activists had no way of knowing that those leases would not be exploited. Tim was frustrated by the seemingly ineffectual picketing outside the Salt Lake City building where the auction was being conducted, so he went inside, where he discovered he was treated as any other potential bidder.
Democracy Now covered the story when it happened December 22, and interviewed DeChristopher again after Salazar’s action. NPR picked up the story this week, and added an interview with one of the culprits who DeChristopher had disrupted: indignant Kathleen Sgamma, director of government affairs at the Independent Petroleum Association of Mountain States.