A Voice for the Earth – Polly Higgins, Assembly Room 21st May

By Alastair Malir
I heard a journalistic saying this morning; ‘If it bleeds it leads’. Whilst new to me, it seems that never have such words been so pertinent. Acts of Genocide, Crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression are all too regular headlines in our news media. Together they were crimes incorporated into the Rome Statute in 1998 and made illegal.
Also increasingly in the headlines are reports of intentional damage to the earth, whether it be air and water pollution or resource exploitation. The difference is that this ‘Ecocide’ is currently not illegal.
The reason, Ecocide was proposed as the 5th crime in the same Rome Statute; a crime that was quietly excluded for, unsurprisingly, politico-economic reasons of a few member states.
However, Ecocide Law is back and has now been re-ignited by ‘Voice for the Earth’ Polly Higgins.
I have seen many things, but never experienced a lawyer receive a standing ovation, cheers and whistles after 3 hours of speaking. But Polly is no ordinary speaker. “It was a truly inspirational evening”, and “it gives me great hope for the future health of planet earth” were just two of the comments following the evening at a full Assembly Room in Chichester hosted by Transition Chichester.
Polly presented the case that now, more than ever, this law is required and having explained the theory, she was joined by Nicola Peel, currently engaged in cleaning oil spills in the Amazon, for some real world examples of what can be done to regenerate some of the damage that has already taken place. A wholly uplifting duo.
I think we all know in our hearts that our planet is now bleeding. It is time for us to lead and in Polly’s words, 'dare to be great'.

Youtube videos

Local film maker Philip Davidson recorded the event and has published his videos on Youtube in two parts.
Part one is Polly explaining Ecocide:

Part Two is Polly in conversation with Nicola:

The team

Here's the team that made it happen - thank you!

And some more photos of the event