Sitting on the airplane heading to Salt Lake City, I had a thought in my head that this trip would be life changing. I had no idea how. In fact, at the time, I didn’t even realize that I was thinking that, but I somehow knew that my life would change in one way or another. And now, sitting on my computer at home a couple days later, I believe it did, in more ways than one.
I was there mainly in support of Tim DeChristopher, a 25 year old activist who prevented the sale of thousands of acres of public land in Utah. Two years ago, he bid on land that the oil industry was selling illegally, even though he had no money to pay the $1.8 million he bid. His trial began last Monday, and I was there alongside dozens of other activists to support his courageous action and show the world that Tim is not alone.
We stood directly below the room where the trial was being held. And we sang. We chanted. We held signs and banners. And we stood in solidarity for the amazing courage that Tim had by standing up for something bigger than himself for the sake of the planet and future generations. It was inspiring for me, to be there, a part of something bigger than myself, feeling the energy that our movement really has.
But even with all this overwhelming support, Tim DeChristopher was convicted on Thursday, and sentenced to up to ten years in prison, for his actions. The judge didn’t even allow him to talk about his motives for the action, or bring up any defense about climate change at all.
This is wrong. This is the last proof that we needed that the Obama administration cares more about short term profits than their children. We can not tolerate this any longer. We need to stand up. We need to unite together as a movement and let our leaders know that there is nothing more important than future generations. And that is just what we’re going to do.
I will end with a quote from Tim:
“If I am not willing to take a stand for my generation, then who will? This year I have come to terms with the idea that I might be my own best hope to defend my future. Hopefully all of us will realize that we are the ones we have been waiting for.”
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. I believe in this movement.
This is our time.