Utah Commissioner to Be Sentenced for ATV Protest Ride

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Lyman Sentencing Friday Revives Comparison to Climate Protestor.

He’s being sentenced for organizing a protest ride into Recapture Canyon last year in a case that’s often compared with the prosecution of another person who challenged authority: climate-change activist Tim DeChristopher. Lyman, the southern Utah county commissioner who led dozens of ATV protestors into a closed canyon, has become a hero for some of Utah’s Sagebrush Rebels, and his legal fight’s prompted comparisons with DeChristopher. He’s the climate activist who served nearly two years in prison – also for protesting federal lands policy. “I will say this: That comparison has come up a lot,” said Lyman in June. “I don’t think it’s fair to either one of us. I think Tim DeChristopher is a much braver person than I am.” The county commissioner said this as he stood outside a closed-door session at the State Capitol, where the Constitutional Defense Council was considering using taxpayer money for his legal defense.

He was talking to reporters when he commented on DeChristopher. “He went in and signed, falsely signed an affidavit, went in and bid on $14 million in contracts,” Lyman said. “That takes a lot of guts. I thought he was over-prosecuted at the same time.” DeChristopher was at a White House protest last fall when he said in a telephone conversation that civil disobedience isn’t for insiders like Lyman.

It’s for the powerless. “It’s hard to say that it’s civil disobedience when it’s someone inside the power structure who is refusing to follow laws.” DeChristopher told KUER News. “Whatever Phil Lyman was doing as a part of that power structure, he wasn’t doing that.” Meanwhile, Lyman’s attorneys filed court papers recently calling the Recapture ride “a mistake” and seeking probation and restitution.

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