Letter from prison: Tim DeChristopher speaks | Grist

August 29, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

This guy Tim DeChristopher would doubtlessly be in prison this weekend for one reason or another. If he weren’t already locked up, I’m sure he would have been at the Whitel House protesting the Keystone XL pipeline.

But, he’s really making the most of his opportunity, and turning out to be as tough and sagacious as he needs to be.

With civil disobedience cases, however, the government puts an extra value on an apology. By its very nature, civil disobedience is an act whose message is that the government and its laws are not the sole voice of moral authority. It is a statement that we the citizens recognize a higher moral code to which the law is no longer aligned, and we invite our fellow citizens to recognize the difference. A government truly of the people, for the people, and by the people is not threatened by citizens issuing such a challenge. But government whose authority depends on an ignorant or apathetic citizenry is threatened by every act of open civil disobedience, no matter how small. To regain that tiny piece of authority, the government either has to respond to the activist’s demands, or get the activist to back down with a public statement of regret. Otherwise, those little challenges to the moral authority of government start to add up.

via Letter from prison: Tim DeChristopher speaks | Grist.



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  1. Wow! That is an fascinating slant.

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