Philadelphia Premiere of “Bidder 70”: Tim DeChristopher and Peaceful Uprising
Tim DeChristopher just got out of jail after doing 21 months behind bars for an inspired act of protection: protecting land, protecting climate, protecting our future from destructive oil and gas drillers. While DeChristopher has become a national and international hero for his act of civil disobedience, too little is known about the details of his struggle and the hard, creative work of his supporters. For example, while DeChristopher was behind bars, DeChristopher’s supporters had to mount a successful campaign to prevent him being kept in solitary confinement. He’d written an email “threatening to give money away” — and the feds, in their infinite wisdom, saw fit to punish him for that.
Come learn about the twists and turns of Tim’s commitment and creativity, and enjoy discussion with brief remarks from three resisters: one confronting fracking, one confronting tar sands, and one confronting mountaintop removal. Here’s the description of Bidder 70 from the film’s website:
Bidder 70, a non-fiction film, is the story of Tim DeChristopher and his act of peaceful civil disobedience in a time of global climate crisis. It is the story of one person risking ten years of his future to defend the rest of our lives.
On December 19, 2008, Tim, an intelligent, strongly committed environmentalist and University of Utah Economics student, derailed the Bush administration’s last minute, illegitimate Bureau of Land Management Oil and Gas Sale. Raising paddle # 70, Tim bid 1.7 million dollars and won 22,000 acres of Utah’s pristine wilderness with no intention to drill on or pay for the land.
Tim understood the risk he was taking, but felt the environmental damage and climate crisis was a greater threat to his future than prison. Immediately, the news and internet was saturated with accounts of this ingenious “monkey-wrencher”, lauding him as a hero or branding him a terrorist.
On January 20, 2009, new Secretary of the Interior, Salazar, agreed the BLM auction was held without proper review. He nullified the sale and removed Tim’s parcels and others from future lease. Eventually he invalidated the entire lease auction.
Nevertheless, on April Fools Day, 2009, Utah’s U. S. attorney, indicted Tim on two felony counts with penalties of up to ten years in prison and fines of $750,000. His trial has been postponed four times.
Bidder 70 is Tim’s story: his actions, his trial and his possible prison sentence. It’s the scientists, activists, writers, and movements that influence and support him, and the young people who’ve “got his back”, who’ve joined him in “Peaceful Uprising” a grass-roots direct action organization.
Bidder 70 follows Tim as he maneuvers legal purgatory and tries to get on with his life while pushing for youthful involvement and aggressive action to combat global warming and secure a livable future.