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From Rolling Stone:

On March 5, he wrote an email to Dylan Schneider, the treasurer and volunteer coordinator at Peaceful Uprising, a climate activism group co-founded by DeChristopher. In the email (you can read the whole thing below), DeChristopher discusses the fact that an unnamed corporate donor who contributed to his legal defense fund is exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs and laying off workers.  DeChristopher is not happy: “I feel like I have some influence and hence some responsibility to do something,” he writes.  “If they are saving money by screwing their workers, I can’t in good conscience accept some of that money.”   He then says that he plans to send a letter to the owner of the company that made the donation, explaining why it bothers him.  He writes, “This letter will include a threat to wage a campaign against them if they don’t reverse course and keep the plants open.”

According to Shea, five days later, on March 9th, DeChristopher was pulled out of his minimum-security camp and told he was being moved to a cell in Herlong’s Special Housing Unit (SHU).  “When Tim asked why,” Shea explains, “he was told that a U.S. Congressman had called and told prison officials that he was threatening people outside of prison.”


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  1. stiles said

    RE: the corporation that drew Dechristopher’s ire…On another web site, there was speculation that Patagonia is the company and a commenter made these interesting observations. While they are not conclusive, his points are worth noting: “Here’s a list of suppliers that Patagonia publishes on its website. Note they have a supplier in El Paso as well as Mnt Airy NC and several in CA.

    “In his email, Tim describes the closings to be in Texas and NC and Patagonia was a vocal contributor of 25k to his defense.

    “All that having been said, I don’t think it follows necessarily that they had anything to do with his confinement. I think its much more likely an over-zealous rule-bot saw his email as a threat to the image and profits of a corporation.

    “Patagonia should get out in front of this with a statement if they want to appear ethical.”

  2. Scott Thompson said

    I have four comments as a long-term recovering attorney.

    First, this is a First Amendment issue. Prisoners have First Amendment rights. Ideally, the ACLU needs to get in there and file a lawsuit to get him out of solitary confinement. Since I’m a card-carrying member, I’ll contact the WV branch of the ACLU Monday and urge them to do just that.

    Second, while Tim DeC’s bidding on those oil and gas leases to keep them from oil companies had style, even class, from a legal standpoint it was a dumb move. He made a direct attack against the primacy of private property – our culture’s real religion – and the system virtually HAD to lock him up to maintain its authority. Tim forced the government’s hand without leaving himself any viable defense in court. Speech and non-violent protests in the public square, by contrast, are a thousand times safer.

    Third, a new, non-profit law firm is needed that will be devoted exclusively to protecting environmental activists, including most especially climate scientists. I just read Michael Mann’s “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” and it is chilling. The persecution is real; there’s no other word for it.

    Fourth, Tim DeC is a political prisoner. I fear there will be many, many more.

  3. Scott Thompson said

    One more thought. Assuming what Shea has to say is accurate (see above), we need to know who the Congressman was who called and who called the Congressman. People who try to bully the authentic environmental activists, and Tim DeC certainly is one, need to be called out on their behavior without delay.

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