Target: International media outlets
Goal: Increase international awareness of the increase in assassinations of environmental activists worldwide
The international nongovernmental organization Global Witness is reporting a serious uptick in the number of environmental activists being assassinated across the world. This comes as natural resources dwindle and the stakes rise for protecting the environment. These killings are extremely troublesome, because they bespeak a growing viciousness on the part of environmental profiteers.
The willingness of certain people, corporations, and governments to kill those fighting to protect the environment from destruction is unfortunately nothing new. But the increased frequency of these unlawful killings is notable. Global Witness now estimates that two such assassinations occur within one week – or about 100 per year. This is about double the rate of a decade ago – a significant increase.
These murders are common, but they are often underreported. This is extremely unfortunate, because the only way these killings will begin to stop is to draw attention to the cases and demand the perpetrators be brought to justice.
Environmentalists who stand up to the illegal loggers, oppose destructive dam projects, or other environmental degradations, are now increasingly subject to physical danger. As they go about their business, they are often gunned down in broad daylight by unknown assailants, whose identity is rarely revealed.
The activists who are killed are almost always peaceful, and in no way are their killings justified. Protecting the environment is no crime. And yet twice a week brave and concerned people who are protecting the common heritage of all people – the natural environment that sustains every person – are killed for their trouble by thugs who escape justice.
Governments and law enforcement must be held accountable to take these deaths more seriously. If they are complicit, which is sometimes suspected, they must be held to account for their assistance in such heinous crimes as assassination.
Sign the petition below to demand more attention be paid to the increasingly numerous cases of assassinated environmentalists and to hold governments accountable to protect these people from danger.
Dear international media,
Twice a week on average, an environmental activist somewhere in the world who is dedicating his or her life to safeguarding the disappearing natural environment is assassinated by criminals whose identities remain clouded in mystery. The nongovernmental organization Global Witness has documented such crimes and reports that these killings are now double what they were ten years ago.
This is an extremely troubling trend. It means that increasingly we live in a world where protecting the environment from destruction will cost you your life. One of the most effective ways to end these despicable murders is to publicize them, and to hold law enforcement to account for failing to investigate the persistent deaths.
As arbiters of what is news, I am writing to ask you to devote more coverage to assassinations of environmental activists worldwide to draw attention to the vicious nature of anti-environmental interests who are willing to murder their opponents.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paul Mason via Wikimedia