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How criminalisation is being used to silence climate activists across the world

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: Governments worldwide are intensifying crackdowns on climate activists and environmental defenders
• Grassroots advocates, climate experts, and UN representatives have reported systematic criminalization and vilification of those peacefully protesting for environmental causes

🔭 The context: As the climate crisis grows more urgent, new forms of non-violent activism are becoming increasingly popular, with groups like Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain demanding government action on environmental issues
• However, various governments have begun to take legal action against them by charging them with, for example, subversion, illicit association, terrorism or tax evasion

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The heightened restrictions and criminal charges against climate activists are seen by many as attempts to silence and discredit them
• This trend challenges democratic values, freedom of speech, and the global effort against climate change, irrespective of a country's political structure or professed commitment to environmental protection

⏭️ What's next: As grassroots opposition to fossil fuel initiatives and other environmentally harmful projects gains momentum, governments may continue to harden their stance against protesters
• The international community's response, or lack thereof, to this trend will be vital in determining the trajectory of both environmental activism and the global approach to climate change

💬 One quote: “These defenders are basically trying to save the planet, and in doing so save humanity. These are people we should be protecting, but are seen by governments and corporations as a threat to be neutralised.” (Mary Lawlor, the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders)

📈 One stat: In the US, 21 states have passed critical infrastructure protection laws since the Standing Rock protests, leading to the arrest of dozens of activists in recent years

Click for more news covering the latest on human rights

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