“Bidder 70” film to Be Shown on April 17 in Belfast
Tim DeChristopher is Bidder 70, a young man who derailed an illegal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oil and gas auction in a courageous act of civil disobedience. “Bidder 70” is the documentary that chronicles DeChristopher’s decision, arrest, and the days leading up to his trial and imprisonment. It will be shown on Wednesday, April 17, at 6:00 p.m. in the Abbott Room of the Belfast Free Library.
The film is sponsored by the Peace and Justice Group of Waldo County and part of its monthly third Wednesday “Community Forum” series.
DeChristopher saved 22,000 acres of pristine wilderness in Utah’s Red Rock region near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. No property was destroyed, no one was hurt, and valid concerns were raised about the BLM oil and gas leasing process. Two months after the event, the auction was ruled illegal. Nonetheless, DeChristopher’s many legal arguments were shot down; he was found guilty and taken immediately to prison.
The documentary delves into the motivation for his action and the community of support that DeChristopher ignited. He inspired and encouraged many in his church, in the activist organization Peaceful Uprising, and later across the nation, to go beyond fear of arrest in order to take a moral stand on an issue. The film also chronicles DeChristopher’s struggle with accepting a plea and remaining active outside prison or holding to a legal course that ends in prison in order to hold a moral high ground and accept responsibility for his actions.
DeChristopher is a gifted speaker—it is worth watching the film just to be inspired by his addresses to the community and his conversations with other noted activists. As a result of his leadership and ability to give voice to a moral position, he recently was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard Divinity School .
A discussion with 350 Maine activists Read and Heidi Brugger will follow the film, which is free; donations are gratefully accepted. For more information, contact Heidi at 207-382-6477.