UPDATE: Tim was returned to the minimum security facility on the night of Wed March 28th ”after the prison received thousands of phone calls,” according to a post on the Peaceful Uprising Facebook page.
UPDATE: See the email that got Tim thrown in the hole below
According to a press release sent from Tim DeChristopher's organization, Peaceful Uprising, Tim was recently moved from the minimum security camp at Federal Correctional Institute Herlong in California to Herlong's “special housing unit” which, in the parlance of our times, equals “the hole.”
Sources report that DeChristopher was moved there at least two weeks ago because of an investigation brought on by an unknown U.S. Congressman.
DeChristopher was sentenced to two years incarceration last July, with 3 years probation, after being convicted of two federal felonies for fraudulently disrupting a BLM oil and gas lease auction. DeChristopher was disturbed by the sale of federal lands for fossil fuel energy development and chose an impromptu act of civil disobedience to call attention to the illegitimacy of the sale.
Since the sentencing, DeChistopher has enjoyed limited outside contact from prison. However, one email Tim originally sent to a friend seemingly went rogue. According to today's press release, DeChristopher's email to his friend on the outside expressing potential concern about a contributor to his nonprofit group was possibly the trigger for the odd increased scrutiny and punishment.
“Tim was inquiring about the reported business practices of one of his contributors, threatening to return the money if their values no longer aligned with his own.”
How or why the email ended up in Washington DC, no one knows at this point. Questions abound, actually. Why did this one email compel an unidentified member of the U.S. Congress to make a phone call to get DeChristopher moved to a more restrictive cell. Who? What? How? Why?
Slated to be released in spring of 2013, DeChristopher could find himself serving the remainder of his time in isolated confinement until the investigation is concluded.
The situation smells of a power play attempting to stifle DeChristopher's connection to the outside world with a convenient reason to keep him inaccessible and secluded.
In special housing, DeChristopher is rarely let out of his cell (four times over the last 2 weeks for brief periods), has had his ability to write restricted by ink rationing, and can only utilize 15 minutes of phone calls per month.
Remember, all he did was to muck up an oil and gas lease sale later deemed illegal by the U.S. government and invalidated for the most part. Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?
UPDATE: Originally posted with Jeff Goodell's story on RollingStone.com, this is the email in question. Read Goodell's piece for more details.