Daily Archives: December 21, 2008

Monkey-wrenching Land Grabs in Utah

A dailyKos diarist put me on to this new form of civil disobedience.

Reminds me of Saul Alinsky and Kodak or Ralph NAder and GM in the 1960s and the birth of shareholder activism.

He didn’t pour sugar into a bulldozer’s gas tank. He didn’t spike a tree or set a billboard on fire. But wielding only a bidder’s paddle, a University of Utah student just as surely monkey-wrenched a federal oil- and gas-lease sale Friday, ensuring that thousands of acres near two southern Utah national parks won’t be opened to drilling anytime soon.

Tim DeChristopher, 27, faces possible federal charges after winning bids totaling about $1.8 million on more than 10 lease parcels that he admits he has neither the intention nor the money to buy — and he’s not sorry.

“I decided I could be much more effective by an act of civil disobedience,” he said during an impromptu streetside news conference during an afternoon blizzard. “There comes a time to take a stand.”

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Filed under activism, Protest