Protecting our communities - and being heard

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It takes incredible courage to stand up against all the odds, when it looks like nothing can be done to stop dangerous industrial activity - and to do so peacefully, knowing that it can mean breaking the law as it currently stands. 

We were thrilled that so many courageous Conscientious Protectors turned up to our workshop in Bristol last week to learn how to make this act of conscience effective and understood when it reaches the criminal courts.

With the UK government astonishingly attempting to make fracking a 'permitted development' (i.e. no planning permission required) we have no doubt that the number of Conscientious Protectors putting themselves in the way of this ecocidal practice is only going to increase.  And with Conscientious Protectors like Helen Chuntso (in court in York again next week) and Heather Stroud paving the way, we think that courtrooms across the UK are heading for an interesting time...

Event with Treesisters this coming Tuesday

If you find yourself in or near the Cotswolds next week, come along to our joint heartstorming event with the fabulous Treesisters in our hometown of Stroud, Gloucestershire.  Details and link to Facebook event:

PROTECTING LIFE ON EARTH - an evening with Mission LifeForce & Treesisters

Tuesday 18th September 7:30pm - Old Town Hall, The Shambles, Stroud GL5 1AP

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1853942728030628/

Polly wins Shackleton award

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Earlier this week, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society presented Polly Higgins with their prestigious Sir Ernest Shackleton medal for leadership and citizenship. Whilst there, she was invited to speak to Strathclyde University's International Environmental Law students. She couldn't resist getting this snap before hopping on her train home... which just happened to be named the Sir Ernest Shackleton!

conscientious protectors & getting out there

Our non-profit recently launched the Ecological Justice Programme in the UK for trustees of the Earth Protectors Trust Fund taking peaceful action as Conscientious Protectors, standing up to protect the Earth and their communities from dangerous industrial activity.

This programme assists Conscientious Protectors representing themselves in court based on their human right to freedom of conscience.  One of our recently trained Conscientious Protectors, Heather Stroud, is in court today supported by many from Ryedale and North Yorkshire:

Events in Bristol next week

Our next training session for frontline protectors is a free-of-charge 1 day workshop in Bristol, UK, followed by an evening speaker event for a general audience with Polly Higgins and Jojo Mehta at the wonderful Hamilton House.  Do join us!  Links below:

ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE PROGRAMME (for frontline protectors): 

Activists as Conscientious Protectors - skilling up for the courtroom- 10am-4pm

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/500309153729877/  

EVENING TALK (for general audience): 

Ecological Justice Our power to protect the Earth - 7:30-9pm

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2469086629775660

Festival LifeForce

Mission LifeForce's Jojo Mehta has been introducing new audiences to the concept of "aligning the force of law with the force of life" - the Earth Protectors' mission to make ecocide a crime.  Festival crowds in the Treehouse and Pagoda venues at Greenbelt Festival listened attentively, while the stunning Imaginarium venue at Shambala was packed to the tent-poles... we are still catching up with entering all the resulting sign-ups into our system!  Looking forward to welcoming the new trustees very soon (and thank you J Sargent for Greenbelt pics).

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International Justice Day - and a courtroom moved to tears

Latest from the campaign to make ecocide an international crime: sign up today!

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20 years ago today, the Rome Statute (the governing document) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted, on 17 July 1998.  This year thousands of our Earth trustees shall be funding delegates from some of the smallest islands in the world to attend the annual Assembly in December - the first ever crowdfund by civil society for an international criminal law.

In preparation, Polly Higgins is in the Netherlands this week for meetings with  representatives, and to make arrangements for raising the profile of ecocide law still further at the International Criminal Court's Assembly of State Parties this year, being held in December in The Hague.

 

ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE PROGRAMME - a courtroom in tears

Our non-profit has recently launched the Ecological Justice Programme in the UK designed for signatories to the Earth Protectors Trust Fund who are taking peaceful action as Conscientious Protectors, standing up to protect the Earth and their communities from dangerous industrial activity.

The programme is intended to assist Conscientious Protectors wishing to represent themselves in a court of law by seeking reliance on their human right to freedom of conscience.

There are already a number of cases going through the UK courts - and although we know it will be a while before we start getting acquittals, what we are already seeing is that presenting the Conscientious Protector argument with clarity and integrity is very powerful. At her trial last week one of our first Conscientious Protectors, Helen Chuntso, had virtually the entire courtroom in tears!  Meanwhile Dr Peter Whittick (who we wrote to you about earlier this year) has already offered to join the programme to train other Conscientious Protectors following his own experience in court.

Those using the Conscientious Protector arguments and Earth Protectors Trust Fund documents say it feels really good to have the opportunity to speak their truth in court and give evidence of why they have taken peaceful action to prevent ecocide.

 

FINANCIAL STRUCTURE & RECURRING DONATIONS

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The Pot: this is where your one-off donation goes when you sign up. It is ring-fenced for practical costs of the Small Island Developing States progressing ecocide law at the International Criminal Court (ICC): travel, conferencing, legal research and assistance, ICC fees.

The Base: This is the UK non-profit that co-ordinates Mission LifeForce and administers the Earth Protectors Trust Fund, all our outreach, technical support and cyber-security as well as our premises and administration. 

Many have asked if they can set up a recurring donation to Mission LifeForce (as the sign-up donation is a one-off).  The answer is a resounding YES and you can now find this on the website HERE  - donations to our non-profit are particularly welcome at present and will help to support the Ecological Justice Programme.  

 

JEREMY LENT

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Acclaimed author and cognitive historian Jeremy Lent lists ecocide crime in his latest piece as a key route to curbing corporate power.  We are big fans of his big-picture approach (see his excellent book "The Patterning Instinct").

 

MAPPING THE MOVEMENT! ... AND OTHER RESOURCES

We are delighted to present our live TRUSTEE MAP, showing the wonderful growing number of people who are signing up to Mission LifeForce.  

We have also now made available a number of files to make it easier to spread the word about the Mission - you can find these HERE.  Below is an example of what a group of Conscientious Protectors did with the icon, making it highly visible at the fracking frontline in Blackpool last month…  what will you do?

Sinking Civilisations - living with climate ecocide in Paradise

On-the-ground documentary raising awareness of climate ecocide in the Pacific and the international campaign to make ecocide a crime.

Young film-maker Isaac Confino and team are creating a timely and very necessary documentary examining the lived reality of the climate-change-threatened paradise of Vanuatu in the Pacific.  

Click on the image to support their crowdfunder which has got off to a great start... 

The documentary also explicitly supports the work of Polly Higgins and her UK non-profit Ecological Defence Integrity to address ecocide on a global scale.  Her campaign, Mission LifeForce, is raising funds to support Pacific island states who have both the incentive and the power to take forward ecocide as a crime at the International Criminal Court.  Although still in its infancy, it is gaining traction and beginning to garner high profile support.

We warmly encourage you to support this important documentary, and if you have not yet done so, to sign up to Mission LifeForce to support a law that can truly protect the earth.  It's simple, it's powerful, it's possible... and together we can make it happen.

JONATHON PORRITT: "I'M A FULLY SIGNED UP EARTH PROTECTOR"

Join Jonathon today - sign up to Mission LifeForce to help make ecocide an international crime.

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Leading environmentalist and author Jonathon Porritt signs up to Mission LIfeForce

We are delighted to have this internationally renowned sustainability expert and green thinker on board.  He has previously expressed support for Polly Higgins' work on ecocide law.  In his own words: "Once upon a time people did grievous harm to the environment without fully understanding the consequences of their actions. That defence is no longer available, and that sure knowledge we now have entails equally sure moral obligations. In this context, the idea of establishing the crime of Ecocide is both timely and compelling."

Porritt, who spent many years as director of Friends of the Earth and later as chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, founded Forum for the Future in the 1990s - a non-profit organisation which has spent the last 20 years working with business and government around the world to create a sustainable future. 

Having examined the Mission LifeForce campaign with his customary thoroughness, Porritt recently contacted us to say that he is "now a fully signed up Earth Protector!"  In particular, regarding the legal route we're proposing - which is to say amending the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to include the crime of ecocide - he commented: "that process does sound potentially transformative. I also agree with the analysis that ‘only criminal law can stop the harm’, as it’s clear that existing legal sanctions are totally failing to do what we so urgently need them to do. Particularly in terms of ‘protecting the protectors’.  So I’m very happy to be one of those ‘conscientious protectors'."

Welcome aboard, Jonathon!

Join Jonathon today - sign up to Mission LifeForce to help make ecocide an international crime.

 

Mission LifeForce to launch in Spain

And don't miss our newly distilled homepage - clearer and more shareable than ever

BIOCULTURA BARCELONA, here we come

Mission LifeForce is soon to be launched in Spain, with a stand at the big eco-fair BIOCULTURA in Barcelona from 3-6 May.  An official Spanish version of the website is being prepared and a small dedicated team will be staffing the stand.

 

Come and see us!

You'll find us at the carpa Casa Sana, stand 28.  Talks in Spanish: Saturday 14:15 (Sala 1) and Sunday 13:30 (Sala 6). Or better still, come and help out on the stand!  Either way we'd love to meet you.

if you are based in or near Barcelona and could help on any of the days (Thurs 3rd, Fri 4th, Sat 5th, Sun 6th May), please contact anita@ecologicaldefenceintegrity.com

Sharing our journey - from Tetbury, UK

Sign up as an Earth Protector HERE.  Support the Mission LifeForce team HERE.

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Last week in our pop-up shop, we threw a party!

We wanted to share with others the great success of our campaign and to explore what we can do to enable core cost funding for our team. 

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This is new territory for us - not only where we are, in the beautiful Cotswolds town of Tetbury, but also in terms of where we go next with what we are doing. We love the fact that people all over the world could be Earth Protectors to fund ecocide crime to be taken in to the United Nations (the world's first crowdfund for international law) - and many of you who are trustees agree with us. Thank you - we've realised a concept that's never been done before, and we've shown that it works.

If you are in the UK and can come to the Cotswolds, please do drop in and meet us while our pop-up exhibition is still showing... any time between 11am and 5pm daily from now until 31st of March.

Inside this beautiful space (gifted by Amy Perry and with windows fabulously illustrated by Emily Seffar) you will find the remarkable wire horse sculptures of Katy Dunne as well as the nature photography of Andy Squiff and Ruth Davey framing the panels that tell the story of Ecocide Law, Conscientious Protectors and Mission LifeForce. Our campaign generates funds for the smallest countries in the world so they can take ecocide crime forward at the International Criminal Court. 

However, those funds are ring-fenced. Our team does not receive monies from the Earth Protectors Trust Fund, and so now we are turning our attention to funding the team, our new premises, and scaling up our operations, back-end support and security to enable the global impact that is our true remit.  If you can help us make this leap, please let us know! 

Meanwhile, keep sharing the website... the more Earth Protectors we are, the stronger the support we will collectively provide to those small states when they are ready to speak out. 

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Update from the United Nations

Our last few days here at the UN in New York have begun to place missing parts into the bigger picture.  Meetings during our fortnight at the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to the International Criminal Court have shed light on critical aspects, including how to best address the severe under-representation of Small Island Developing States.

From the frontline - or your front room

We can all be Earth Protectors – we can all make the Earth our Mission.  

By BECOMING AN EARTH PROTECTOR (a trustee* of the Earth Protectors Trust Fund) you will:

  • be an Earth Protector in law, supporting all those across the world who stand up to protect the Earth
  • help fund a law to make ECOCIDE an INTERNATIONAL CRIME - protecting our planet, our communities, and all those who take action as conscientious protectors
  • if you are an activist, gain an additional legal defence in a court of law

There is no age limit on the Trust Fund, so you can sign your children up too!  The moment is now - Mission LifeForce is here