Stop Ecocide & Extinction Rebellion - what's the connection?
The campaign supporting #EcocideLaw originates in pioneering lawyer #PollyHiggins' work in 2010-11.
The present crowdfunding campaign - now known as Stop Ecocide - was co-founded in 2017 by lawyer Polly Higgins and activist Jojo Mehta, both good friends of Gail Bradbrook, Simon Bramwell and other Stroud-based co-founders of Extinction Rebellion (XR).
Jojo and Gail were arrested together in 2017 at a local incinerator blockade; Gail was one of Stop Ecocide's first signed-up Earth Protectors; Polly directly assisted XR with legal advice at its inception.
So there are intertwined lives, principles and friendships going back a long time, as Gail outlines here:
We are two separate organisations, but highly complementary.
XR has done and is doing an incredible job of raising the alarm on climate and ecological emergency. Now (at last!) people seem ready to hear the solution - the simple solution which Polly championed for a decade until her death and which Jojo and the expanding team at Stop Ecocide continue to take forward: the CRIMINALISATION of ECOCIDE.
Only when destroying the natural world is understood to be a CRIME as morally abhorrent as killing a person, can we really hope to protect the Earth for future generations of ALL species - including our own. The Earth's body IS our body. With her we thrive, without her we perish.
Indigenous wisdom the world over knows this, but the "first world" has forgotten.
Climate negotiation, ambition, mitigation, litigation cannot hope to stop the harm any more than beating or suffocating an abused woman a little less - or paying her for her bruises - can make her well.
Only by STOPPING THE ABUSE can she begin to recover...
In the past, major freedoms (abolition of slavery, women's votes, civil rights, the list goes on) have always been won with a combination of strong GRASSROOTS MOVEMENTS and specific LEGAL CHANGES.
We see our work as the legal counterpart to the mobilisation of XR and the global Youth Strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg... and while Earth Protectors (contributors to our campaign) may not all wish to blockade the streets, we believe that every XR activist and every Youth Striker - and all those who sympathise with them - WILL want to support a law of #ECOCIDE.
It's a simple re-alignment of human law with a higher moral code:
FIRST DO NO HARM.
All it takes is 2 minutes and a fiver... to support a law that is actually CAPABLE OF ADDRESSING the crisis we're in. Join us.
PS - if you are signing up as an activist you also gain primary evidence that you’re taking peaceful action to prevent harm not cause it - proof that you’re a Conscientious Protector. See video below.
And if £5 is difficult for you, don't worry!
You can still support by signing and sharing the petitions.