RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE
We all have the human right to act according to our conscience and deeply held beliefs, as long as we are not harming or endangering others by doing so (ECHR article 9, UDHR article 18). This right was peacefully campaigned for over decades by the Conscientious Objectors of the 20th century who saw the harm of war and wanted no part of it.
When what informs our conscience is sound scientific research, and the desire to protect humanity and the Earth from harm, then exercising that right is not only justified but an act of moral necessity.
In the 21st century, Conscientious Protectors are not only refusing to take part in the harm being inflicted upon the natural world, but feel compelled to take non-violent direct action to prevent it.
THIS RIGHT CAN BE USED IN COURT
If you are arrested while taking non-violent direct action and you are facing criminal charges, and especially if you are willing to represent yourself in court, you can rely on your right to freedom of conscience to:
be empowered to put forward what you want to say
bring the evidence you want to present
educate the court on the issues
In our earlier incarnation (as Mission LifeForce), we developed a straightforward approach to doing this. A training video is viewable and further information can be found at our XRCP page - it’s aimed at Extinction Rebellion (climate) activists but the same principles have been used effectively by anti-fracking activists too.
By signing up as an Earth Protector you are clearly stating that you believe that damage and destruction to the Earth and its inhabitants is a crime - and you will have a unique Trust Fund document in your name to show this, which carries legal weight. It can be used in court as primary evidence that:
YOU ARE NOT A CRIMINAL - YOU ARE A CONSCIENTIOUS PROTECTOR