This news is far afield from the caucus states, or even America. But it's about one of our real allies on this planet, the president of the Maldive Islands, Mohammed Nasheed. He's arguably the Mandela of the Indian Ocean--he spent six years in jail before forcing an election that overthrew the country's longstanding autocrat. But this morning some kind of sketchy military coup returned the old order to power. Many of Nasheed's colleagues have fled; he's under some kind of house arrest.

This is not just a blow to democracy--it's a huge blow to the climate movement. Nasheed is the epitome of the kind of leadership we need to see the world around. He's engaged in practical work--the Maldives was, until this morning, on track to become the world's first carbon-neutral nation by 2020. And he's been a great political leader--you may recall that he trained his whole cabinet to scuba dive so they could hold an underwater cabinet meeting against their dying coral reef in 2009, in conjunction with 350.org's first huge global day of action.

This Muslim leader is a great great man. We need to come to his defense. Here's a quick petition page we've set up at 350.org, to let the Maldivian military know the world is watching. I'll never forget watching Nasheed speak to a huge rally at Copenhagen--it was the high point of that hopeless week. As you can tell, I'm a little frantic. Please help here.

Originally posted to DK GreenRoots on Tue Feb 07, 2012 at 05:03 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change News Roundup, EcoJustice, Climate Hawks, and J Town.

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