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Turning Point in DC: Climate Justice Movement Keys off Civil Rights Crusade

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Politics and Democracy page and our Environment and Climate Resource page.

When climate change activist Tim DeChristopher received a two-year jail term in July, his supporters declared him an American hero.

They compared him to John Lewis, the civil rights movement leader. They compared him as well to Rosa Parks, called the "mother of the freedom movement" for defying in 1955 the whites-only seating rules on an Alabama bus, an act that helped spark massive social change in the United States by bringing the moral bankruptcy of segregation to the attention of whites beyond the South.

Outside the Salt Lake City courtroom where DeChristopher's sentence was handed down, aging folk superstar Peter Yarrow -- of Peter, Paul and Mary fame -- strummed protest anthems on his acoustic guitar (he'd done the same in 1963 at Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech).  

DeChristopher was going to jail because he'd monkey-wrenched an oil and gas lease auction in Utah two and a half years earlier, successfully bidding for 22,000 acres of land with money he didn't have. 

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