Non-profit

Climate Disobedience Center (CDC)

Website:

www.climatedisobedience.org

Formation:

2015

Type:

Far-Left Environmental Activist Group

Founders:

Tim DeChristopher

Marla Marcum

Jay O’Hara

Project of:

Social Good Fund

Climate Disobedience Center (CDC) is a far-left environmentalist agitation group known for “nonviolent civil disobedience projects,” which include placing false bids for public lands, blocking pipeline construction projects, and closing manual shut off valves carrying Canadian oil into the United States. [1] [2] [3]

The organization’s founders and current leaders are environmentalist activists Tim DeChristopher, Marla Marcum, and Jay O’Hara. [4] DeChristopher has served time in custody for federal felonies related to his misrepresenting himself as a bidder for natural resource development rights; he “won” rights valued at $1.8 million for which he could not pay. [5]

The Climate Disobedience Center is a project of the Social Good Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donor-advised fund provider. [6]

Background Information

Founded in 2015, the Climate Disobedience Center was formed after the release of Tim DeChristopher from federal prison for defrauding the government when he placed fraudulent bids in a Bureau of Land Management public sale. [7]

The organization provides trainings, on the ground organizing, coalition building support, faith-based partnerships, written resources on their necessity defense strategy, and legal resources to defend those who participate in their activism. CDC has become notorious in their attempt to utilize the “necessity defense” to excuse their actions claiming that the seriousness of global warming permits to violate federal law, such as by committing fraud or trespassing. [8]  [9] [10]

Aggressive Activism

Lobster Boat Trial

In May 2013, Climate Disobedience Center founder Jay O’Hara and his associate, Ken Ward, prevented 40,000 tons of coal from being delivered to the Brayton Point generating station in Somerset, Massachusetts. The two men were charged with disturbing the peace, failure to act to avoid collision, conspiracy, and negligent operation of a motor vessel. Shortly after charges were filed, District Attorney Samuel Sutter dropped the charges, came out in support of global warming, and joined them at the People’s Climate March in New York City. [11] [12] [13]

The Climate Disobedience Center states that making this a public trial was their first project as an organization.  [14]

Delta 5

In September 2014, Everett, Washington based activists with the now-defunct Rising Tide Seattle group placed themselves in front of a mile-long train carrying “fracked” crude oil (oil extracted via hydraulic fracturing) from North Dakota to Anacortes. Rising Tide Seattle activists were arrested and charged with trespassing and train related charges. The activists reached out to CDC for legal support which they provided leading to their case being the first in the country to use a “necessity defense” to justify their actions. The jury found the group guilty of trespassing and not guilty of train related charges. Activists remain in the process of trying to appeal their case.  [15] [16]

Enridge Pipeline Shutdown Project

In February 2019, a far-left Catholic environmental group, Four Necessity Valve Turners, illegally turned off the valves of Enbridge Energy oil pipelines transporting oil from Canada into northern Minnesota. In October 2018, activists Emily Johnston and Annette Klapstein were acquitted after shutting down Enridge Lines 4&67 in a multi-state effort which closed off all oil coming from Canada into the United States. CDC provided legal and organizational support for both organizations. [17] [18]

Leadership

Climate Disobedience Center is led by the organization’s founders, Tim DeChristopher, Marla Marcum, and Jay O’Hara.

Tim DeChristopher is a far-left environmental activist, ex-felon, and United Methodist pastor. In his final semester at the University of Utah, DeChristopher became involved with other environmental groups attempting to pressure the Bush administration to stop Bureau of Land Management sales leading him to protest the auction. On December 19, 2008, DeChristopher decided to infiltrate the auction and place false bids for land parcels eventually leading to an extreme price inflation causing the auction to be closed. During his prosecution, DeChristopher founded another far-left environmental organization, Peaceful Uprising. In March 2011, after numerous rescheduling and court hearings, DeChristopher was convicted of two federal felonies: one count of false representation and one count of violating the Federal Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Reform Act and sentenced to two years in federal prison in July of 2011. In April 2013, DeChristopher was released from prison and placed on 3 year probation. He later attended Harvard Divinity School and worked to produce a documentary, Bidder 70, about his experience. [19] [20]  [21]

Marla Marcum is co-founder of Climate Disobedience Center, far-left environmental activist, organizer, and United Methodist pastor. She is also a co-founder of far-left environmental organizations, Better Future Project and 350 Massachusetts. She was a participant in the “Lobster Boat Blockade” action along with CDC.  [22]

Jay O’Hara is co-founder of Climate Disobedience Center and a traveling Quaker minister. Prior to the Climate Disobedience Center, O’Hara was the founder of Climate Summer, an organization of far-left environmentalists biking around New England to promote global warming. [23] [24]

Funding

The Climate Disobedience Center is a project of the Social Good Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and donor-advised fund provider. [25] As such, CDC does not file annual reports with the IRS.

References

  1. DeChristopher, Tim. “About Tim DeChristopher.” Timdechristopher.org. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.timdechristopher.org/about
  2. “Current Support.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/current_support
  3. “Current Support.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/current_support
  4. “Who We Are.”  Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/who_we_are
  5. O’Donoghue, Amy Joi. “Timothy DeChristopher to Finish Sentence in Salt Lake City Halfway House.” DeseretNews.com. October 06, 2012. Accessed February 28, 2019. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865563905/DeChristopher-to-finish-sentence-in-Salt-Lake-City-halfway-house.html?pg=all.
  6. “Current Projects.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27,2019. https://www.socialgoodfund.org/fiscal-sponsorship/current-projects/
  7. McDermott, Mat. “Activist Tim DeChristopher to be Released From Jail, Serves Remainder of Sentence at Halfway House.” Treehugger.com .Accessed February 27, 2019.https://www.treehugger.com/environmental-policy/tim-dechristopher-released-prison-remainder-sentence-halfway-house.html
  8. “The Climate Necessity Defense.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/necessitydefense
  9. [1] “About.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019.http://www.climatedisobedience.org/about
  10. Stephenson, Wen. “The Boston climate trial that might have been.” Commonwealth Magazine. Accessed February 27, 2019. https://commonwealthmagazine.org/opinion/the-boston-climate-trial-that-might-have-been/
  11. “Past Support.”  Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/past_support
  12. “The Legal Case.”  LobsterBoatBlockade.org. Accessed February 27, 2019.https://lobsterboatblockade.org/the-legal-case/
  13. Kozma, Carol. “District Attorney Sam Sutter, locals join thousands for NYC climate march.” The Herald News. Accessed February 27, 2019. https://www.heraldnews.com/article/20140922/NEWS/140929425
  14. “Past Support.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/past_support
  15. Wong, Julia. “A crime justified by climate change? Activists caught in legal showdown.” The Guardian. Accessed February 27, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jan/14/climate-change-activists-trial-washington
  16. “Past Support.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/past_support
  17. “Meet the Two Catholic Workers Who Secretly Sabotaged the Dakota Access Pipeline to Halt Construction.” Democracy Now. Accessed February 27, 2019. https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/28/meet_the_two_catholic_workers_who
  18. “Current Support.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/current_support
  19. DeChristopher, Tim. “About Tim DeChristopher.” Timdechristopher.org. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.timdechristopher.org/about
  20. “Tim DeChristopher’s Story.” Peaceful Uprising. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.peacefuluprising.org/tim-dechristopher/tims-story
  21. DeChristopher, Tim. “About Tim DeChristopher.” Timdechristopher.org. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.timdechristopher.org/about
  22. “Who We Are.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/who_we_are
  23. “Who We Are.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/who_we_are
  24. “Jay O’Hara.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.climatedisobedience.org/jayohara
  25. “Current Projects.” Climate Disobedience Center. Accessed February 27,2019. https://www.socialgoodfund.org/fiscal-sponsorship/current-projects/
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