On Sunday April 21, after 21 months in federal custody, activist Tim DeChristopher will walk out of a Salt Lake City halfway house and begin three years of probation. His first full day out of custody will be Earth Day, on which he's organized an event to livestream answers to supporters' questions after a screening of the movie "Bidder 70."
In December 2008, DeChristopher acquired the name "Bidder 70" after he entered a Utah BLM land auction and made his claim to 22,500 acres of wilderness worth $1.8 million dollars. He couldn't pay for the land. In March, 2011, he was convicted on felony counts of making false statements and violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act. Prosecutors looked to sentence DeChristopher to up to seven years in prison, but a federal judge ordered a two-year stay, a three-year probation, and a $10,000 fine.
Prior to his sentencing, DeChristopher read a 35-minute statement to the court. “The people who are committed to fighting for a livable future will not be discouraged by anything that happens today,” he said. “And, frankly, neither will I. ... You have authority over my life but not my principles.”
This fall, DeChristopher will attend Harvard Divinity School in hopes of becoming a Unitarian minister.
For more, read "The Trials of Bidder 70" and "Activist Tim DeChristopher to Be Freed After 21 Months in Custody."