This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
The downside of civil disobedience: The threat of jail time.
The upside of civil disobedience: Free hot dogs!
Monday afternoon, 26 protesters were arrested for blocking downtown Salt Lake City traffic. They did so in response to Judge Dee Benson handing down a two-year federal prison sentence to Tim DeChristopher for sabotaging a federal lands auction - though the harsh sentence is really for DeChristopher being uppity and not showing contrition.
(Funny how Benson, who said during the trial that DeChristopher's intent was inadmissable in his defense ""We're not here about why he did it. We're here about whether he did it," the judge said used DeChristopher's post-auction intent as an excuse for throwing him in prison.)
Those 26 protesters are being treated to free food by City Dogs, a vegetarian/vegan hot-dog cart usually parked at 300 South and 200 East. City Dogs owner Jesse Fruhwirth (a former writer for City Weekly) has offered a free lunch to any protester who was tied up at the federal courthouse Monday.
The offer isn't limited to those 26 protesters, though. According to the City Dogs blog, "If you weren't at the court house yesterday, commit your own act of civil disobedience on behalf of climate justice or any other type of justice, document it with pictures, and you too get free lunch from City Dogs – today or any day. That's a standing offer."
Fruhwirth helpfully links to DeChristopher's protest group, Peaceful Uprising, which suggests ways to be civilly disobedient. So grab your copy of Thoreau, grab a hot dog, and do some good in the world.