Meet the founders of the Climate Disobedience Center, Tim Dechristopher, Marla Marcum, Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward.

Tim DeChristopher, as Bidder 70, disrupted an illegitimate Bureau of Land Management oil and gas auction in December of 2008, by outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. His actions and 21 month imprisonment earned him a national and international media presence, which he has used as a platform to spread the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for bold, confrontational action in order to create a just and healthy world. Tim used his prosecution as an opportunity to organize the climate justice organization Peaceful Uprising in Salt Lake City. He continues the work to defend a livable future. Read More.

Tim DeChristopher and Marla Marcum at MA State House
Tim DeChristopher and Marla Marcum at the MA State House

Marla Marcum is a United Methodist committed to supporting people of all faiths and no particular faith to act boldly for justice. An experienced campaigner, trainer, pastor and lay leader, she brings two decades of social justice organizing experience with faith-based, youth, and grassroots groups.  She supported the launch of Climate Summer, serving as its Director for five years, and is a Co-Founder of both Better Future Project and 350 Massachusetts.  Marla has supported, organized, and participated in many direct action and civil disobedience efforts, including the Lobster Boat Blockade.  Her current projects include organizing sustained nonviolent resistance to Spectra Energy's West Roxbury Lateral pipeline project with Resist The Pipeline and re-starting Climate Summer for 2017. Marla is passionate about leadership development and building supportive communities of resistance among unlikely allies. She calls both the Boston area and the Missouri Ozarks “home.”

Marla Marcum, Ken Ward, Jay O'Hara - Lobster Boat Blockade
Marla Marcum, Ken Ward, and Jay O'Hara

Jay O'Hara is a Quaker and native of Cape Cod. In 2009, after moving to his hometown, he founded Climate Summer, a transformational program for student climate activists. In 2011 he co-­founded the Young Adult Friends Climate Working Group to provide leadership to New England Quakers. Called to bolder action, in 2013 he, along with Ken Ward, blockaded 40,000 tons of coal destined for the Brayton Point power plant with their small white lobster boat named the "Henry David T" - the Lobster Boat Blockade. The ensuing legal proceedings garnered national attention. Most recently he co-­led the faith­ based “Pipeline Pilgrimage”. He currently lives in Vermont. Read More.

Jay O'Hara  during Lobster Boat Blockade
Jay O'Hara next to the Energy Enterprise during Lobster Boat Blockade

Ken Ward is the former Executive Director of New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG), Deputy Director of Greenpeace USA, President of the National Environmental Law Center and co-founder of Green Corps, the Fund for Public Interest Research and U.S. PIRG. After 20 years of professional activism he became an at-home dad for his now 15 year old boy, Eli, which afforded him the opportunity to read all then available science articles on climate. Realizing that the climate approach of US environmentalists is inadequate, he has spent the last 15 years pushing for a bigger, tougher climate strategy, summarized in the Bright Lines papers (2007). His recent work includes the Jamaica Plain Green House, which served as a regional hub for actions, Metro Boston Climate Defense, acting Director for Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living, and, with Jay O'Hara, blockading a coal shipment at Brayton Point in 2013 with a lobster boat - the Lobster Boat Blockade. In October, 2016, Ken was one of five "Valveturners" in the Shut It Down action, which closed all five pipelines carrying tar sands oil from Canada into the US. Ken lives in Corbett, Oregon and is active in the Shell No! campaign.

 Ken Ward during ShellNo! protest
Ken Ward during ShellNo! protest

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