We receive a lot of enquiries from conscientious protectors - folk from all walks of life who are facing up to ecocide in their communities - asking if we can help them take a company or a local or national authority to court, or advise them on doing this.
The focus of Mission LifeForce, however, is not on existing regulation, and it is not on civil law (suing), so we are not best placed to help you here. Our focus is on the creation of new criminal law (prosecuting).
Where we can help is if you are facing legal action in a criminal court for standing up to protect your community (or the Earth) from ecocide. If you do this from the standpoint of a Conscientious Protector using the Earth Protectors Trust Fund document you will actively be taking forward ecocide law with us and in the long term are likely to contribute to a far greater impact than you would if wrestling with a corporation in a civil court.
Meantime we highly recommend that you:
- research whether there are already action groups (eg local Frack Free group) or NGOs (eg Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth) working on the ecocide you are facing in your area. This is your first port of call.
- if there is nobody working on your community's ecocide, consider starting an action group yourself. Friends of the Earth or Greenpeace can really help you here, and the Lock the Gate movement in Australia is also very effective with mobilising local communities - there's much to learn from their approach (see also The Bentley Effect, which shows how a community took on a big corporation and won). You may also be interested in community chartering or community surveys, which can give social and moral weight to your campaign as well as media visibility.
- don't forget to sign up as an Earth Protector in law and encourage your community to do so too... this will serve both as a declaration of your stance as conscientious protectors, and an added legal protection should any of your frontline activists end up in court.
- think about who your natural allies are. They may be those whose livelihood is based in local tourism, or it could be the environmental science professors at your local university who are already speaking out about the relevant issues. They are your "early adopters" - they will help mobilise your local community.