When some environmentalists vandalize work sites to block economic growth and energy development, they get government grants to continue their anarchy.
But when activists hold a non-violent protest to remove a barrier to public lands, they’re labeled as anti-government and sent to jail.
Such was the fate this week of radio personality “David Justice,” a 58-year-old Gunnison man who was sentenced by a federal court to a month in prison and ordered to pay $4,000 in restitution for damaging a gate in 2013.
That’s right, a gate.
He didn’t lead a horde of anarchists through a major city to smash windows and clash with police, he didn’t commit arson, he didn’t injure anyone or threaten lives — he damaged a gate.
His was a challenge to the BLM’s abuse of federal powers, a public charge that the government had illegally closed the Cushman Creek Trail near Montrose to vehicle traffic for random environmental reasons.
It was an act of defiance, not a criminal act, and certainly not an act of terror.
As the BLM proceeds with even more road closures across public lands near Grand Junction this year, protests are already beginning to pop up around the region.
And now we know what the stakes are – defy the federal government’s closure of public lands and risk a month of freedom.