Peter Rothberg on January 26, 2012 – 3:52pm ET
Peaceful Uprising is the group founded by Tim DeChristopher, who was hauled off to prison for speaking out against the corrupt relationship between our government and the fossil fuel industry. The group was absolutely critical to the success of the anti-Keystone pipeline protests this past summer. In fact, because foundations demand a credible “fiscal sponsor” when a group is small and with none of the larger environmental groups wanting to be seen as officially endorsing civil disobedience, all the funding behind the Keystone protests went through PeaceUp, because it was willing to take the risk.
Its reward? Peaceful Uprising recently discovered that it was one of two hundred non-profit projects, under the fiscal sponsorship of something called the International Humanities Center, that have been financially wiped out in an astonishing act of apparent fraud. (This post has the details.) In short: International Humanities Center, (a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in California) spent the money donated to Peaceful Uprising on its own, highly suspicious operating costs.
For the last few weeks, Peaceful Uprising has been reaching out to as many other IHC projects as possible (some of which are working to bring basic needs to people in war-torn countries in the Global South) in order to lead a unified response. A coalition has now submitted a request for an investigation to be conducted by California public officials.
With little hope of recovering the stolen money, the group has moved under a trusted local nonprofit umbrella, Living Rivers and is in the process of researching what it takes to become its own autonomous non-profit structure.
With our support, Peaceful Uprising will rebuild and continue to push harder in the fight against climate change. An extremely transparent organization, here’s what the group plans to do with whatever funds it can raise in 2012:
1. Continue work with the Occupy movement.
2. Continue working with organizers of upcoming escalations of the movement, bringing a voice to PeaceUp’s Core Principles.
3. Keep pushing the fight against the tar sands, on the ground in Utah, and supporting our allies and the frontline communities nationally and globally.
4. PeaceUp CORR (Communities of Resilience & Resistance) is a national campaign to build, empower and provide resources to activists on how to create beloved community, inspire bold action and educate their community through Jury Empowerment, Transition Towns and Community Audits.
5. Continue to educate our community in Utah on the tyranny of Rio Tinto’s Kennecott through our Rio Tinto Truth campaign.
6. Continue to bring song and street theatre as tools for creating social change and building communities of resilience and solidarity.
More ways to help right now:
Finally, watch this video with DeChristopher, filmed in 2011 by my former colleague Kevin Gosztola, in which Peaceful Uprising’s founder explains how environmental activists are using civil disobedience techniques learned from earlier American social movements to take bold action to resist the anti-environment status quo.