Laws designed to criminalize environmental protest and protect fossil fuel operations are proliferating globally, threatening basic human rights and democracy, Inside Climate News reports. A UN position paper published last week by Special Rapporteur on Environmental Defenders Michel Forst argues governments must engage with environmental activists’ demands instead of repressing peaceful civil disobedience actions via harassment and intimidation campaigns. Currently in the U.S., which has refused to sign the convention that houses Forst’s office, 42 laws are on the books restricting the First Amendment protest rights of those opposing fossil fuels, including many so-called “critical infrastructure” laws, with another 27 pending. Globally, on average three environmental activists are killed every week. (Inside Climate News)