Polly Higgins: In Memoriam

3 May 2019

My dearest Polly,

At the exact time that I start writing this, your funeral starts in the UK. It’s a sad day. We are so sad to see you go. 

Yet, thousands of people are so thankful. Thankful that you stood up, dared to be brave, for our planet Earth and our common future.

We were struck by the terrible news of you being ill. Thousands of us stood with you, in thoughts, prayers, etc. and carried you through your final days.

You are one of the heroes of our times, showing leadership on what needs to be done. 
Ending the decades of ignorance and indifference on the wellbeing of our planet. Ensuring ethics and law play the role they need to play in our society. Standing up for our common mother: Earth.

Mutual Event hosted by Polly Higgins and Jan van de Venis at Springtij.nl, April 2015

Getting ecocide acknowledged in (international criminal) law, which many may have seen as fighting an uphill battle or swimming against the stream. However, you brought us closer to the summit and to the source of the stream.

We are beginning to see clearly, from where things come.

I will miss you as a friend, as a colleague and as a fellow lawyer. I will, as you often called all of us to, continue to ‘dare to be brave’.

Polly, you passed away, but your heritage is amazing. You have inspired tens to hundreds of thousands of people, started a global movement which is speeding up. I feel it is in your honor that the UK Parliament became the first in the world to declare an environment and climate emergency.

Next step, ecocide law.

It has been an honor to ride the wave of justice with you on Earth. I hope you are now riding amazing waves in a just place without pain and worries and in a pristine natural environment.

The wave you started on Earth is growing: a tidal wave is starting to arise. As Seamus Heaney said:

“History says, Don’t hope
On this side of the grave,
But then, once in a lifetime
The longed-for tidal wave
Of justice can rise up,
And hope and history rhyme”

My dearest Polly, with you hope and history rhyme. Rest in peace. We will continue. We dare to be brave.

Jan van de Venis

President, The Crowd Versus