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You do not meddle with the primal forces of nature — or punk the Bureau of Land Management! (Same thing.) Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist currently serving a two-year sentence in California’s Herlong Federal Correction Facility for winning an auction on a gas and drilling auction on public land and then was all “HAHA KIDDING! PSYCH!”, has just spent the past 19 days in a “restricted cell” within the prison because…he sent his friend an e-mail. DeChristopher was apparently concerned about the ties of one of the donors to his legal fund. According to the group Peaceful Uprising, which DeChristopher helped found, the e-mail prompted an “unnamed congressman” to request that DeChristopher be moved from the minimum-security section of the prison to the Special Housing Unit, which beyond sounding patently terrifying and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nesty, could have prolonged DeChristopher’s time in prison. Thanks to very vocal support from the public, Peaceful Uprising just announced that DeChristopher was finally removed from the “hole” yesterday. But um…why is this guy in prison again? He didn’t even essplode any SUV’s!

Starting March 9, DeChristopher was held in a small cell with one other person, and apparently was only let out of the cell four times over the course of two weeks. DeChristopher was also restricted in some of the activities he carried out in the low-security section, namely writing, reading and communicating with friends. DeChristopher’s supporters were no doubt spurred to action by the bureaucracy involved in the SHU. As Peaceful Uprising notes, “there is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU — often times they wait months for the conclusion of an investigation.”

While DeChristopher is now out of “the hole,” his organization reminds us that he “is still a political prisoner,” and they plan to continue investigating the person behind DeChristopher’s move, as well as the ridiculous sentencing. [Common Dreams, Peaceful Uprising]

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