To put it mildly, this is bizarre.
"Have you ever read Franz Kafka’s The Trial?"
That is the first thing that Patrick Shea, a member of jailed climate activist Tim DeChristopher’s legal defense team, says to me when I call him this morning to ask him about reports that DeChristopher has been pulled out of his minimum security camp at Herlong federal prison in California and thrown into isolated confinement in an 8 x 10-foot cell. His latest crime? Sending an email to a colleague with a "threat" to give back a $25,000 donation to his legal defense fund because DeChristopher, one of the most principled people I have ever encountered, discovered that his donor was exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs.
If you don’t know the backstory to DeChristopher’s imprisonment, you can read about it here. (Short version: He was sentenced to two years in prison last July for having nonviolently disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases in 2008.) This case was a sham before it took this latest turn. If there were any justice in the world, DeChristopher would have been pardoned before he ever set foot in jail. The fact that it is now possible he will serve out the rest of his sentence in a tiny cell with only one break a week to go outside is an outrage, and one that should have everyone who cares about justice and the abuse of political power in America marching in the streets.
In short, this is Alice in Wonderland time. That's right: the guy who stood up for saving taxpayers money gets thrown in jail - now in solitary - while a bunch of oil-funded clowns in Congress stand in the way of cutting wasteful welfare checks to oil companies, yet are living it up on Capitol Hill. Personally, I think there are far better candidates for jail time than Tim DeChristopher!