A February Monday at 8 a.m. isn't the best time to hold a rally for the sake of environmentalism.

For one thing, rallies are all about hope, and Mondays are, well, not. Another thing, nothing - not even the environment - looks its best on winter Mondays, so inspiration is lacking at best.

But today at 9 a.m. environmentalist Tim De Christopher's trial began in Salt Lake City, so it was heartening to see 300-400 people marching from Pioneer Park to the Federal Building, singin and chanting in the cold in his support.

DeChristopher, remember, is the young man who sabotaged the oil and gas lease auction by bidding on more than a dozen drilling parcels near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. He won the auction, which itself was later declared illegal, but had no money to pay the $1.8 million tab. And no intention of paying - his intention was to thwart global climate crisis, save national park lands, and put a spotlight on environmental issues.

It was an act of pure civil disobedience, and the legal arguments are tangled as they always are. Check out the Tribune for details.But the spotlight part worked.

Artist-naturalist Carel Brest Van Kempen carried a banner.

Preparations for the march went on all weekend - banner-making, speech-scheduling, song-planning. Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) flew in with his daughter to lend a supporting voice. Actress Daryl Hannah came to march. Utah author Terry Tempest Williams joined in. And tons of Unitarians - DeChristopher has received a lot of support from minister Tom Goldsmith's congregation - walked and sang.

Mothers with babies in backpacks, businessmen in suits, retirees and cheerleaders all participated, singing protest songs from generations ago: "We Shall Overcome;" "This Land is Your Land;" "Blowin' in the Wind."

But local activist and antiquarian bookstore owner Ken Sanders who marched with the crowd had the best suggestion for appropriate music."We should be singing 'Walk Like An Egyptian.'"