When is Wrong Write?

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When you care about something enough you’ll do something wrong to make it right. You’ll put your self in harms way, you’ll stand up to the police, you’ll break the law or in Tim DeChristopher’s situation you’ll raise up a paddle at an oil bid auction to prevent drilling in some of nature’s most pristine unspoiled country.

In the last month of the Bush administration, big oil companies’ encouraged an illegally ran auction for drilling rights in Southern Utah.  Tim DeChristopher , a 4.0 economics major student at the University of Utah,  went to protest at the auction. He went just thinking he was going to stand outside with the other protesters, but he soon realized that standing with a sign would not be enough. Tim told others “there was no legal way to stop the auction from happening so I had to do something illegal.” Tim’s illegal action was to go into the auction and to drive up the auction prices as a false bidder. Once the federal government found out that Tim didn’t have the money to pay for the land rights he bid on they arrested him. This didn’t bother him. He hoped his arrest would draw attention to the illegal auction and he did.  When Obama took office the new administration withdrew the land rights that auction had illegally sold. 

For the next two years his trial date would keep getting postponed by the Judge.  The postponement meant that he would not be able to take the job he had been offered, upon graduating from college.  The judge would not let him tell the jury that his intentions were for doing wrong for the right of saving the environment.  That he wanted to stop the oil companies from drilling around Delicate Arch and other beautiful areas in Southern Utah.  The judge would not let him tell the jury that he wanted to preserve the land for the next generation to come and for the next generations after that.  The judge would not let Tim tell how the burning of fossil fuels is speeding up our planets global warming.  The judge would not let Tim tell that global warming is already here and we need to do everything we can to prevent further destruction of our planet.  The judge would not let Tim have scientists from around the world testify in his behalf.  The judge would not let him tell the jury about why he broke the law for a better cause and for a better future for all of us. 
 
Tim was found guilty of two felonies and is facing up to ten years in prison. It was heard later that the jury thought that by acquitting him they would be breaking court rules.  After the trial a reporter asked him. “If you had the chance to do it again would you?” Tim’s response. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Tim is a very brave person who believes that there are times when wrong is right.  I have great admiration for him and hope I have the strength to do wrong when it is right, if it will help with the preservation of our environment. There’s a Rosa Park street in Salt Lake City.   I hope someday there will be a Tim DeChristopher street. 





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