“The environmental emergency that we are collectively facing, and that scientists have been documenting for decades, cannot be addressed if those raising the alarm and demanding action are criminalized for it,” says Michel Forst, UN Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders under the Aarhus Convention.

The position paper concludes with five calls for action to States on how to make a profound change in how they respond to environmental protest:

  1. First and foremost: States must address the root causes of environmental mobilization.

  2. In terms of the media and political discourse: States must take immediate action to counter narratives that portray environmental defenders and their movements as criminals.

  3. In terms of legislation and policy: States must not use the increase of environmental civil disobedience as a pretext to restrict the civic space and the exercise of fundamental freedoms.

  4. In terms of law enforcement: States must comply with their international obligations related to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association in their response to environmental protest and civil disobedience and immediately cease the use of measures designed for counterterrorism and organized crime against environmental defenders.

  5. And with respect to the courts: States must ensure that the courts’ approach to disruptive protest, including any sentences imposed, does not contribute to the restriction of the civic space.

The paper can be downloaded on English (pdf) and French (pdf).

  • @MotoAsh
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    1 month ago

    Appealing to the actions of stupid people in no way what so ever justifies their stupidity.

    Do I seriously have to explain the, “if all your friends were jumping off a bridge…” thing in the year 2024?! I am literally describing to you how people are reactionary, and you go, “yea but people are reactionary!”

    Thanks for failing to understand the point: Reactionary thought is stupid. I am calling that natural reaction stupid, because it is stupid. I don’t care if it’s natural. So is dying to a gunshot wound, but I’m still going to go to the hospital.

    • beaxingu
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      -31 month ago

      i’m not justifying anything i’m saying if your movement gets associated with crazy people nobody will take it seriously. im not talking about people being reactionary i’m talking about if you want environmental activism taken seriously you better disassociate from the crazy people like differentiate yourself make that very clear your not them or your movement is fucking dead. has nothing to do with what you find stupid. its about not repelling people if you want to get shit done.

      • @MotoAsh
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        1 month ago

        I agree optics are extremely important, but my point still stands that humanity is fucking stupid for partaking in such judgement.