Ros and I met up with Polly Higgins in Stroud last week. Ros has known Polly for a while, and I recently met her at St Ethelburga’s where she was one of the speakers at the last of the latest series of Re-awakening the Sacred public talks. We agreed we three should meet to talk further about 80,000 Voices and let Polly know what we’re going to be up to in the next few weeks in New York.
Polly is a barrister with a big heart who seeks to defend planet Earth from those whose legal right currently is to risk its destruction, and whose legal duty is to make a profit for shareholders. Introducing a Law of Ecocide as the fifth Crime against Peace would turn that around. It’s Polly’s mission and one shared enthusiastically by all of us wishing to save our planet.
Our collective main message is to say if we had a law of Ecocide nuclear weapons would automatically be illegal. Thus we’re all fighting to protect the planet and human life from total destruction as a result of the short-sightedness that comes from human beings putting growth, profit, and specifically the arms trade before the health and well-being of all who live on the planet.
The Call to Action for Peace and Planet centres on the United Nations in New York City on 26th April. As Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967 one year before he was assassinated:
“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defence than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.”
He called for a revolution of values and it is with this in mind that Ros and I look forward to joining the Peace & Planet Mobilisation for a Nuclear-Free, Peaceful, Just, and Sustainable World.
This is an opportunity to show our solidarity across the globe for a world free of nuclear weapons, and to build and strengthen the ties between the movements for racial, environmental, and economic justice, which would all benefit from a law to eradicate Ecocide as Polly suggests.
On 27th April the Non Proliferation Treaty Review conference (NPT) opens at the UN to discuss and report on any progress there has been towards the elimination of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately any such progress is notoriously slow whilst the nuclear weapon states are currently poised to spend billions on producing and developing new ones.
155 countries signed a statement at the UN last year expressing concern at the humanitarian consequences of any use of a nuclear weapon by accident or design, and the list of countries now calling for a treaty to ban them is growing steadily. Nearly 70 states have so far endorsed the Austrian Pledge to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. We intend to voice our support loud and clear.
In fact we have been asked to mobilise voices in song as we march towards the UN on April 26th – singing in solidarity an Ode to Joy and For the Sake of Peace. Join us in New York and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Gina and Ros