When Resolute Forest Products, Canada’s largest logging company, threw two multi-million dollar lawsuits at Greenpeace and Stand.Earth for speaking out for the protection of the Canadian boreal forest, people around the world did not sit idly by.
In over 25 countries around the world, people took to the forest and their most iconic trees to send a message of unity and solidarity in the face of Resolute’s legal attempt to silence its critics and stifle freedom of speech.
From the tropics of Indonesia, people gathered in defense of the forests of Canada in front of a giant Kenari Babi tree to send their message to Resolute.
Drawing on the symbol of their national flag, a group in Lebanon sent their message from an ancient 3,000 year old cedar tree in the Shouf Biosphere Reserve.
From Germany, where the iconic beech forests form a part of their cultural heritage, hundreds of people gathered to tell Resolute that they will not be silenced.
Even when Resolute tries underhanded tactics to silence our voices, the forests and trees of the world unite us. Right now, the need for protecting our forests is more important than ever as they are hotbeds of biodiversity and store vast amounts of carbon that we can not afford to release into the atmosphere if we are to keep global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. And if nothing else, these lawsuits from Resolute show us that the right to speak out is more precious than ever and must be defended.
Nothing in nature acts in isolation. From the microscopic chains of fungi in the soil, to the complexities of the animal kingdom, even the earliest scientists observed the world as a vast interconnected ‘web of life’. And so too are we, as a global movement of people, united together for the protection of the forest and in defense of free speech everywhere.
Sign the petition to ask book publishers to defend the forests and free speech.
Ethan Gilbert is a mobilisation coordinator at Greenpeace Nordic.