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My name is Diana Marquand, I am am a supporter and volunteer for the Eradicating Ecocide team and was asked by Louise to share my story in a newsletter.
I was born into a very political family; my father was economic adviser to the government during WWII. His best friend was Elwyn Jones, a junior barrister who prosecuted the Nazi war criminals. Elwyn told me once never to “obey orders” if I knew that the orders were wrong. This message has always stayed with me, and I have always campaigned against things I believe are wrong including nuclear weapons, the Iraq war and apartheid.
My father told me once that if I wanted to change things I should write to my MP. In opposition to the war in Iraq I organised a letter writing group to stop this. We wrote to our MP, to government ministers and also collected signatures for petitions which we hand delivered to Parliament. We also liased with the local mosque. Eventually our MP resigned his cabinet post and voted against the war.
My road to Earth rights and Ecocide
I continued campaigning on separate environmental issues, but I wanted something that connected all these issues.Whilst working as a Children's Guardian it occurred to me that nature doesn't have a voice to speak out against the destruction humans are causing to the Earth. I thought that the Earth is in need of guardians too. I then saw the Bolovian Ambassador speaking and learnt that indigenous people believe that nature has the right to exist and all beings are interconnected. The Ambassador spoke about an international law to protect the Rights of Mother Earth and a crime of Ecocide to punish those who do not respect the Earth’s rights. I had found what I was looking for: a legal obligation to care for the Earth. I looked this up on the computer and found Polly Higgins. Polly came to speak at an event I organised in Swansea and people travelled long distances to hear her.
We can all make a difference....
I have given many talks on Ecocide throughout Wales and plan to organise more. I have sent out copies of the Welsh translation of the Bill of Rights for the earth to Welsh Assembly members. If you can help with translations of the Bill of Rights or other documents please get in touch with Zoe. All the resources you need to organise an event, including information on Ecocide and template letters are available on the Eradicating Ecocide website, along with lots of ideas of what you can do to help. Why not start a letter writing group like I did? It can be a lot of fun and you might end up making a real difference. You could write a letter to world leaders or a letter to the Earth.Writing to MPs is important and can make a difference, it is the MP's job is to represent his/her constituents.Last Wednesday I organised a talk "Ecocide: the fifth Crime Against Peace." Inside the beautiful, peaceful church of St. Mary le Bow we were privileged to hear Polly Higgins speak about Ecocide. The event was hosted by Rachel Lindley who takes care of the church and organises “Just Share” events. There were also contributions from Alex Scrivener of the World Development Movement, Clive Menzies, who is an ex banker and spoke about the need for reform of the banking system. The evening finished with a short but moving piece by Tanya Paton from theOccupy Faith working group, who reminded us that all religions specify that we are all stewards on this planet. I will be giving a talk about Ecocide to Friends of the Earth Wales in May. I am also liaising with my local Amnesty International group to explain that Ecocide is a crime against Humanity as well as Nature. Please write to Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Amnesty International and Oxfam urging them to support the campaign. This is as much of a human rights issue as an environmental issue. Since first meeting Polly I have got to know more people attracted to this movement for justice for the earth and I am impressed by the loving kindness and compassion generated by this campaign: it is a very real joining of hearts and minds and where each one of us can really make a difference. With hope and peace Diana Marquand
Help persuade the polititians
The Eradicating Ecocide team sent out Concept Papers to all the governments in the world, detailing why a crime of Ecocide is necessary and setting out the roadmap for putting it in place. Acknowledgments of receipt have been sent by The Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny T.D, Irish Prime Minister and President Donald Ramotar, President of Guyana.
Can you please send them a polite message to re-enforce how much their support is needed on the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com Ask them to support the law of Ecocide and publicly give their voice to our campaign.