This guy is great. He saw an opportunity and jumped on it, disrupting a corrupt auction, costing major corporations money, and drawing attention to an issue that easily could have been buried under the mountain of year-end top 10 lists and countless other examples of Bush Administration corruption.

What started out as a spur of the moment prank is now developing into a more developed plot that could actually save the land from development instead of just delaying the sale. De Christopher also has some quotes from his interview with Amy Goodman that show while his action wasn’t premeditated, it was the result of a line of thinking very much in line with the ideas of “How to Win.”

via: Democracy Now
I saw some protesters walking back and forth outside, and I knew that I wanted to do more than that and that this kind of injustice demanded a higher level of disruption. And so, I just decided that I wanted to go inside and cause a bigger disruption.

And from there, I found it really easy to get inside and become a bidder, and went inside and was in the auction room. And once I was in there, I realized that any kind of speech or disruption or something like that wasn’t going to be very effective, but I saw pretty quickly that I could have a pretty major impact on the way this worked. And it just took me a little bit of time to build up the courage to do that, knowing what the consequences would be. And so, I started bidding and started driving up the prices for some of the oil companies. And throughout that time, I knew that I could be doing more and could really set aside some acres to really be protected. And so, then I started winning bids and disrupting it as clearly as I could. ”

“I’ve seen the need for more serious action by the environmental movement and to protect a livable future for all of us. I’ve seen that need for a long time. And frankly, I’ve been hoping that someone would step up and someone would come out and be the leader and someone would put themselves on the line and make the sacrifices necessary to get us on a path to a more livable future. And I guess I just couldn’t wait any longer for that someone to come out there and had to accept the fact that that someone might be me.”

via: Salt Lake Tribune

The University of Utah student who foiled a federal oil and gas lease auction the Friday before Christmas hopes he can buy time for Utah’s scenic redrock desert – and himself – until the Bush administration is out the door.

Tim DeChristopher announced Wednesday afternoon that he would pay the U.S. Bureau of Land Management $45,000 to hold the 13 lease parcels he won in a Dec. 19 sale. His aim is to fend off drilling at least until President-elect Barack Obama takes office and new officials are in charge of the federal Interior Department and Bureau of Land Management.

“This would be the most effective way of ensuring we could protect the land, at least until the new administration came in,” DeChristopher said.

The 27-year-old economics major faces possible federal felony charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on 13 lease parcels that he admitted he had neither the intention nor the money to pay for.

But since committing what he called an act of civil disobedience, DeChristopher has heard from hundreds of individuals around the country willing to chip in to keep drill rigs off the land and DeChristopher out of prison.

So far, would-be benefactors have pledged $14,000, he said.

DeChristopher, his lawyers and other advisers reckoned that if there were a specific reason for the fundraising, rather than just an ill-defined defense fund, enough money would roll in to allow him to write a $45,000 check to the BLM within the next couple of weeks.