Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Activists Trespass to Save Environment and Wildlife

People can show their love for the environment in different ways. Ordinary individuals can help by not contributing to global warming. They can choose to patronize Earth-friendly products, for instance. Other individuals can start conserving resources, segregating rubbish, or using fuel-efficient machines. Each person can help save the environment in his own way. However, such conservative efforts are often not enough to fight off the huge detrimental environmental impacts that large companies continue to cause. Forests and wildlife remain unsafe from modern developers, and fishes and other endangered marine life continue to be at risk. It seems hopeless that momentous changes that will positively impact the world will occur. This is why many individuals have taken it upon themselves to become stewards of the Earth.

Stewards of the Earth or the environment are the people we commonly know as environmental activists. They are the courageous people who put their very lives on the line to protect the environment. But these environmental warriors aren't the only ones who are called activists. Anyone who does something for the good of the environment, whether it is just by segregating waste or planting a tree, is recognized as a protector of the world.

Common Strategies Used by Environmental Activists
To gain support and to increase people's awareness as regards current environmental issues, most activists use a variety of traditional tactics. They boycott products known to have been tested on animals or reject items made from endangered wildlife, such as fur coats or ivory statues. They also encourage people to sign petitions, and they pen letters to policy-makers as well. When these things are not enough, they can also stage protests. Most of these things won't send people in jail. However, there's one activity that can land someone in prison, and this is the direct-action approach.

Direct Action
There are three (3) possible goals a direct action movement. One is to expose a problem or to make an issue public. Second is to recommend an alternative, while third is to put forward a solution to an existing problem. These things can be accomplished as direct action efforts often get a lot of media coverage. A few examples of direct action attempts are strikes, sit-ins, graffiti and destruction of property. Many environmentalists have also been known to chain themselves to trees to prevent these from getting cut, or they sneak into private properties to expose a nasty problem or protest something. Just recently, Lucy Lawless, an actor who appeared in popular television programs, like "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "CSI: Miami", was caught on a Shell drillship in efforts to help save the Arctic. She pled guilty and is waiting sentencing, which is in September. She is facing a trespass suit that can land her in jail for about 3 years.

Defense The crime of entering and remaining in another person's or group's property after being warned or prohibited is known as trespassing. A person could trespass in a house or any residential property, a building or any commercial property, as well as a boat and grounds that are owned by a private citizen or run by a business or government group. There are several defenses that a person can use, including consent, wherein the trespasser was given permission in actions or words to enter a property. Another is trespassing to recover land or chattel, which may occur after an uncontrollable event, such as a storm or flood. Third is private necessity, wherein someone trespasses to protect another from grave injury or harm. This also includes protecting a place from major destructive elements. Fourth is public necessity. This pertains to trespassing done in order to protect a community from more serious harm. In other words, a trespasser invades a private property to protect the public good.

The article is by Claire Duvall. She writes for a Massachusetts Trespassing Lawyer. She also blogs for several online law websites, tackling issues related to personal injury and criminal law.

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