As we close out 2017, we’re reflecting on the time and energy that so many climate dissidents and supporters have spent preparing for and going to trial this year. And we are looking forward to supporting four more climate trials in the first half of 2018.
We launched the Climate Disobedience Center after our own experiences taking high legal risk climate disobedience actions through to trial. Using a trial as an organizing and power-building opportunity is neither easy, nor straightforward. In fact, we learned much of what we know now the hard way, and we are determined to help others avoid those same mistakes and blind spots.
We’re not lawyers. We’ve learned that to maximize the impact of trials for local efforts and for the broader grassroots climate justice movement, we need a lot more than lawyers. We need to nurture the capacity to provide ongoing moral, spiritual, and material support for defendants and their core group. We need to build and equip teams to conduct basic grassroots organizing and turnout for educational events and multiple court dates. We need a disciplined and clear messaging strategy and people trained to carry out media and social media plans and to keep everyone informed. We need a logistics team to help the organizers create accessible pathways for engagement for supporters and to keep everyone informed about carpools, food, schedules, and rules of conduct in particular courthouses.
All of these teams and more are built from scratch in preparation for every trial. In some cases, the local group has many of the skills required and only needs our support with templates, sample timelines, and getting started. Some groups need intensive coaching. Every group we support benefits from what we have learned through experience and develops leadership and skills they can use to build grassroots power in their ongoing work.
We rarely ask for financial support to help Climate Disobedience Center to continue supporting climate trials. As we prepare for as many as four climate necessity defense trials in the first half of 2018, can you make a donation of $50 or more to support this work?
We are grateful for the many ways that you support our work and drive forward transformative, creative, and necessary action in your own communities. If you are able to make a financial contribution, we hope you will give generously. If you have already made a donation this month, thank you!
-Marla (on behalf of the whole Climate Disobedience Center team)