This speech by the activist who bid in a public land auction is a beautiful explanation of the relationship between civil disobedience and the rule of law. This should be read by everyone who is concerned about what is happening across the country as citizens establish "occupations" to support Occupy Wall Street in New York City. The large majority of American citizens no longer have any say in how their government is run because a small group of citizens, have accumulated huge amounts of the total value (money) in our country and use that power to buy the political system. Those with power are able to pay for special treatment under the law even though one of our most important ideals in this country is that we all should be equal under our laws.
This is the reason no one can find any one demand or list of demands from the demonstrators. We are many and varied in our concerns. What we demand is equality under the law which is one of the major factors in the founding of this country and which we no longer have. When the King of England needed to be told why we in the colonies were causing so much trouble, the "founding fathers" spent a good amount of time talking, writing, arguing, discussing and giving serious thought to exactly what we thought should be the rights of a citizen and equality under the law was a defining necessity. We have been refining that concept ever since, adding people that had originally been left out and later including all races, all genders, all abilities etc. Up until these last 30 years or so, we avoided removing citizens from that equality.
We the people are finding that we are no longer equal to the small number of citizens and corporation that have slowly taken almost all power and influence for themselves. The laws of the country openly treat us differently than those with money and power and we cannot stop this inequality through the normal procedures of the laws of the land which are now in the hands of the powerful. We don't mind some people achieving wealth through hard work, creativity, innovation or even luck. Most of us have better things to do than focus on accumulating large amounts of money beyond a good and decent living. We thought that because we were equal in power by law, we could safely go on about our lives, protected by our constitution. I'm sorry to say we took it for granted. But now that we are becoming aware of what has happened through the actions of civil disobedience by "activists" like Tim DeChristopher, we find we will not tolerate the loss of an equal voice in the government of this country, a voice that will dictate our future and the future of our children, our neighborhoods, communities, our country and the planet we all depend on for life. And because we now know we have no voice, we the people must and will resort to civil disobedience over an oppressive rule of law, which is now the only voice we have to force our laws to apply equally again.
Please take the time to read DeChristopher's speech below.
"This Is What Hope Looks Like" — Tim DeChristopher's Sentencing Statement