Originally posted at YES! Magazine, by Sarah van Gelder. Photo Credit: Phil Dunn.

On the morning of December 19, 2008, Tim DeChristopher woke up knowing he would somehow protest an auction of oil and gas leases on federal lands in Utah’s red rock country. How he would make his views known, though, was a mystery. When an official at the auction asked him if he was there to bid on land parcels, he agreed. That seemed like a good place to start.

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At first, he bid on parcels to increase their prices—it didn’t seem right to him that the leases were going for as little as $2 an acre. But after more than half the leases had been acquired by oil and gas companies, he began bidding to win. He acquired the rights to 14 parcels—a total of 22,500 acres for $1.8 million—before he was escorted out of the auction, and held and questioned by federal officials.

His civil disobedience galvanized activists concerned about the climate crisis and the fate of public wilderness lands. Some, including members of his Unitarian Universalist Church, formed the climate justice action group Peaceful Uprising. Read Entire Article…