90 organizations urge logging giant Resolute to drop lawsuits against Greenpeace & Stand.earth

Press release - June 12, 2017
Montreal, 12 June 2017 -- Organizations across Canada and the U.S., including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Broadbent Institute and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, are calling on Resolute Forest Products to drop its multi-million dollar lawsuits aimed at silencing Greenpeace and Stand.earth in a newspaper ad appearing in Le Devoir and The Ottawa Citizen. The organizations are condemning Resolute's attack on public discourse, free speech and the very heart of our democratic society.

Montreal, 12 June 2017 -- Organizations across Canada and the U.S., including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Broadbent Institute and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, are calling on Resolute Forest Products to drop its multi-million dollar lawsuits aimed at silencing Greenpeace and Stand.earth in a newspaper ad appearing in Le Devoir and The Ottawa Citizen. The organizations are condemning Resolute's attack on public discourse, free speech and the very heart of our democratic society.

"Now, more than ever, the world needs our watchdogs. The right to speak, protest and criticize is also the right to dream of a better world. Don’t let Resolute silence Greenpeace or Stand.earth. Don't let anyone silence our voices," said Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute.

 Other notable voices have also come forward in the defense of free speech and forests. More than 200 authors such as Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Stephen Fry have signed a pledge with Greenpeace to support free speech and the right to speak up for forests. [1]

On May 16th, Greenpeace published a report exposing the threat posed by Resolute’s various lawsuits to free speech and public advocacy more broadly. [2] The call to support freedom of speech and forest protection has since become global, with more than 400,000 people from around the world signing an appeal to publishers buying paper from Resolute. These voices are all asking publishers to disavow the logging company's heavy-handed attempt to silence environmental organizations and intimidate individual activists who have rightfully criticized its unsustainable forestry practices.

 “With these lawsuits, Resolute has set out to destroy an organization with over 45 years of history protecting the planet. But this is no longer about Greenpeace - it is about protecting the right of all Canadians to speak out on issues that matter, including the survival of critical ecosystems,” said Greenpeace Canada’s Executive Director, Joanna Kerr.

 "This lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to silence Canadians who care about our forests. said Karen Mahon of Stand.earth. "It's time for the Resolute Board of Directors to insist that their CEO drop this intimidation lawsuit."

 Other organizations who signed the pledge include Amnesty International Canada, CIVICUS, Nature Canada, Sierra Club Canada Foundation, The Leap, Breast Cancer Action, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ecojustice as well as many others.  [3]

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Notes to Editors:

[1] Authors signing the pledge, including Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Stephen Fry, committed to defend “freedom of speech as a pillar of democratic and peaceful societies, the right of individuals to organize and protest without intimidation, [and] those who peacefully protect the world’s forests.” Click here to see the full text of the authors’ pledge and the list of signatories, or copy the following URL to your browser: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/authors-pledge/

[2] Click here to access the full “Clearcutting Free Speech: How Resolute Forest Products is going to extremes to silence critics of its controversial logging practices” report, or copy the following URL to your browser: http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/clearcutting-free-speech.

In its report, Greenpeace is asking Resolute Forest Products to:

  • Adopt Free Prior and Informed Consent as the basis for engaging with Indigenous Peoples to ensure forest planning is driven by Indigenous knowledge and governance.

  • Suspend logging in and sourcing from High Conservation Value Forests including Intact Forest Landscapes and Woodland Caribou habitat until science-based conservation planning takes place.

  • Publicly support large-scale, protected areas based on this science and Indigenous knowledge.

  • Recommit to the FSC system and regain lost certificates.

  • Work with environmental organizations, unions and communities to address legitimate economic concerns and ensure jobs are sustained.

[3] For the full list of the 90 organisations that signed on to the ad appearing in Le Devoir and the Ottawa Citizen please see photo below or attachment.

Ads Stand-GP-OttawaCitizen.jpg

 

Contacts:

Philippa Duchastel de Montrouge, Greenpeace Canada, , phone: 514-929-8227