Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't be alarmed, this is just a test

"Please Note: On Thursday, December 18, 2008 testing of the gunshot recognition/locator system known as “Shotspotter” will take place in the Mission District. It is anticipated to occur at approximately 9:00 PM and will be occurring at various locations. The testing will occur in the areas of 18th St & Mission, 22nd St. & Valencia, 23rd St and Folsom, and 18th St and Bryant. Please do not hesitate to call 911 if you become aware of suspected gunshot sounds at any other time at those locations." (Post found after an extensive web search at Mission Mission)

This was and is very real. For twenty minutes the night of the 18th, the sound of gunshots rang out throughout my neighborhood. No advanced warning, no notification. Despite the increased popularity of the Mission as an "up and coming" (read: gentrifying; precious) neighborhood, the police seem content to treat it like just another blighted ghetto, ignoring the fact that this densely packed, vibrant and diverse neighborhood is home to thousands of families of all ages.

Highest Bidder Jailed

Tim DeChristopher

(Copied from Tim DeChristopher's site)

As you may have already heard, on December 19th I chose to disrupt the BLM oil and gas auction through an act of civil disobedience by bidding against participating oil & gas companies. I ended up "winning" the leases for 22,500 acres of beautiful land near Moab. You can find more details at

The tremendous support I've received in response to my action was unexpected and utterly inspiring. Hundreds of people have contributed over $10,000 to my legal defense and to the $45,000 bond obligation for the leases. And countless others have expressed their solidarity and support for the long American tradition of meaningful civil disobedience.

In addition to the moving effect on me, this support has also opened up the real possibility of paying off the leases which I "won". The initial payment on this, required to secure the land, is around $45,000. After a good deal of struggling over this choice, I have decided to raise the money to secure the leases. With much advice from my legal team, it has become clear to me that making the down payment on the leases is the best way to protect the land until we can restore open, transparent and democratic procedures for determining the fate of valuable public lands.

It is still unclear how the new administration will deal with this inappropriate auction and the disruption I caused to it, but I can only hope the President Obama follows through on his promise for a transparent government. Until then I will make sure that no drilling or development happens on this land, and for that I need your help. This is an opportunity for all of us to make a clear statement of how much we care for our land, our climate and participatory democracy.

Please donate to help protect these 22,500 acres of wilderness (and reduce the chance of prison for me). Together we can protect this land and show that we are all willing to make the sacrifices necessary for a livable future.

Please forward this email on to as many people as you can and continue to spread the word of the need for critical action. Thank you for being a part of protecting the future for all of us.


Tim DeChristopher