We knew this would be big, but we didn't expect it to blow us away.
Supporters have been congregated outside of the Salt Lake City federal courthouse since early this morning, singing songs of solidarity in support of Tim DeChristopher. Ages ranging from 16 months to 90 years, we stood together to lift our voices to the ears of our community and our nation, carrying banners with messages like "Defending A Livable Future" and scores of "70" bidder paddles. As we marched to the courthouse, we sang "We Shall Overcome," spinning one verse to crystallize our cause: "Tim is not alone today."
Early on in the rally, Daryl Hannah leapt gamely onto the 8x8 stage across from the courthouse to reflect on the mood: "I've never seen a demonstration like this — so many smiling faces!" Peter Yarrow staged an impromptu concert, singing "We are all Bidder 70; we shall not be moved," with hundreds chiming in with harmony. We recreated our Climate Trial, complete with a huge Tim DeChristopher puppet, reminding all in sight and earshot that the most relevant facts of this case are barred from the courtroom and distant from the ears of the jury that could put Tim in federal prison for the next decade.
Despite the harsh injustice inherent to this trial, "joy" has been word one since 7:30 this morning. The same fine people who attended the Urban Lounge performance of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros last night, and/or the vigil that Peter Yarrow held at First Unitarian Church at midnight, were bright-eyed and ready to march and sing, just five hours later.
Daniel Dancer, renowned Art For The Sky founder, arranged human bodies into living artwork, an enormous 70 paddle to signify the theme: we are all Bidder 70 today, and Tim DeChristopher is not alone.
As Tim entered the courthouse for the opening day of his trial, accompanied by acclaimed writer and environmentalist Terry Tempest Williams, we stood together and lifted our voices in rich full harmony.
Bloggers and Twitter gurus from across the continent have been tapping in to offer their support: Bill McKibben has offered regular updates in this forum, saying, "Thinking of Ed Abbey as the trial hour draws near, standing up in his grave, fist raised!"
In the fight for climate justice, we are all united around one brave young man today. We are ready to do whatever it takes to further the cause Tim DeChristopher so selflessly championed. I could never have hoped to experience such courage, solidarity, and indeed, joy and resolve.