Authors Stand Up for Free Speech and Forests

Without the freedom to express ourselves, the power of words - stories, news articles, poems, speeches or songs - is lost. That’s why over 200 authors from around the world, have signed a pledge to support free speech and stand up for forests. Will you join them?

Author Pledge Hero, Without the freedom to express ourselves, the power of words - stories, news articles, poems, speeches or songs - is lost. That’s why over 200 authors from around the world, have signed a pledge to support free speech and stand up for forests. Will you join them?

The Pledge

The pledge follows two multi-million dollar lawsuits filed by Resolute Forest Products, a Canadian company, to silence Greenpeace and’s exposure of its controversial logging in the boreal forest:

"We believe that industry and governments also play a vital role in being vigilant against attacks on freedom of speech.

We pledge to defend:

  • Freedom of speech as a pillar of democratic and peaceful societies
  • The right of individuals to organize and protest without intimidation
  • Those who peacefully protect the world’s forests

The right of individuals to speak out is the backbone of accountability in any community. We will not allow peaceful dissent to be shut down by corporate lawsuits designed to bully and intimidate. With voices from all over the world, we will not be silenced."

Authors Supporting the Pledge

J.M. Coetzee

Margaret Atwood

"The endings of The Handmaid's Tale, 1984 and Brave New World are written. Ours is not. This is a chance to stand up for freedom of speech, the freedom to advocate for change, and the freedom to question authority, and to strengthen their protection under law. As a society, we need a positive outcome to this story."
Margaret Atwood joined more than 100 authors pledging to protect free speech and the people who protect forests.

Stephen Fry

"Speaking as a serial blasphemer, I take freedom of speech very seriously. It’s not just about the satisfaction you get from speaking your mind, it’s also about telling uncomfortable truths that need to be heard, and Greenpeace has been incredibly successful at exposing what the powers that be want to keep secret. But this case goes beyond Greenpeace to threaten every whistle-blower and watchdog with information that the rich and powerful want suppressed. I’m worried, and I think you should be too."

Michelle Alexander

"The right to speak truth to power is the foundation of democracy and must be vigilantly protected and defended. Now more than ever. "

Yann Martel

"Ultimately we all benefit from free speech. If Resolute Forest Products manages to shut Greenpeace up with its heavy-handed legal tactics, we ALL lose. This is not just a question of preserving our environment but our civil society."

Rebecca Solnit

"There is no free society without free speech, and when we say that we mean free as in freedom, as in liberty. But lawsuits that make speaking up unaffordably expensive are one way to quash that liberty arising from the free exchange of words, ideas, beliefs, truths. I’m proud to stand with Annie Leonard and Greenpeace for the liberty of speaking up for the climate, the natural world, and all of us who depend on it. "

Naomi Klein

"We already have trade deals that allow corporations to sue governments when they deny pipelines, and a US president who has filled his cabinet with extremists who are hostile to the very idea that governments should protect people and the planet. We simply cannot afford a legal precedent where the most courageous NGOs are treated like organized crime. This upside down world must be put right. Resolute’s SLAPP suit against Greenpeace must be defeated."

Julian Barnes

Ian McEwan

Anthony Doerr

"We must never silence the voices who speak to protect our children’s future. The more we can remember how interconnected we all are—the more we can train ourselves to empathize with the kids in our neighborhoods, beyond our borders, and in our futures—the better off we’ll be. "

Deborah Eisenberg

Lev Grossman

"I support Greenpeace in their urgent, important work defending the environment, and I support the right of everyone, everywhere to speak out in protest without fear of being bullied and silenced. "

Peter Wohlleben

"I support Greenpeace to protect the ancient boreal forests of North America and to advocate for ecological sensitive and sustainable forestry practice. Forest protection is climate protection – more older trees can protect our climate. "

Lauren Groff

"It is the moral imperative of every human being to speak up for vulnerable living things that can't speak for themselves. We should all be thankful that Greenpeace is a valiant and ferocious defender of our common rights to a clean and healthy planet; we should all defend Greenpeace's ability to call out companies for their wrongdoing."

Elenor Catton

William Shatner

"Can you believe that trees have DNA that has similarities to human DNA? The implication is that not only is all humanity united but all animals and more recently the discovery that plant life is related. We’re all one large organism. We are in fact LIFE. In destroying nature, we are destroying ourselves. Self-preservation is also a basic instinct. Let’s follow it."

Alec Baldwin

Jane Fonda

Alain Deneault

Alessandro Pertosa

Alessandro Tota

Alice Kuipers

Alison Croggon

"Nothing is as silent as a dead forest. All around the globe, from Canada to Papua New Guinea, entire ecosystems are being razed by corporate greed. The fight against this destruction is a fight for everyone on this planet. We can't permit corporations to silence the voices that expose their crimes."

Amélie Antoine

Anders Morgenthaler

Andrea Wulf

"The protection of forests is essential for the survival of our beautiful earth. As is our right to fight for our planet. "

Andrew Westoll

Anna Lappé

Anne Manne

Anne-Marie Voisard

Anthony Weston

Antoinette Truglio Martin

Annie Ernaux

Arjun Basu

"Greenpeace is far too important to be silenced. By anyone."

Arnaud Viviant

Aymeric Caron

安冨 歩 / Ayumu Yasutomi

"Speaking out when you feel there is injustice — that is the foundation upon which human society is based. Shaking this foundation with a lawsuit for the purpose of intimidation — that is malicious, antisocial behavior, and it is absolutely unacceptable."

Beth Vrabel

Beatrice Colin

Berndt Sellheim

"What will happen, do you think, if we create a world where only the rich have the right to speak?"

Bill McKibben

Bülent Ceylan

"Everybody bears responsibility for climate protection and therewith for the continuation of humanity, you too! "

Caroline Leavitt

"Free speech opens our hearts and our minds and expands our understanding of our world. "

Carolyn Doyle

Caryl Férey

Charles Montpetit

Charles Van Onselen

"Freedom of speech is the lubricant that keeps the machinery of genuine democracies running smoothly."

Chellis Glendinning

Chip Haynes

Chloe Hooper

"Here's our choice: free speech about our air, land and water, or corporate doublespeak disguising its destruction."

Charlotte Weitze

"I support Greenpeace’s work. The protection of the environment - that we have a duty to speak on behalf of other beings well-being - the trees, the plants, the animals. "

Dr. Chris Donaghue

Chris Shaw

Christian Jungersen

"If you undermine people’s right to express themselves critically in a democratic society, you undermine democracy in itself and the power of citizens. This time it’s Greenpeace, who is under attack, but next time it might be a different and smaller organization. The case concerns us all as citizens of a democracy and our right to use our voice to criticize. "

Christian Salmon

Colin Beavan

Connie May Fowler

Corrado Augias

Cyril Dion

Dacia Maraini

Dan Chiras

Dan Millman

Danforth Prince

Debby Holt

"I hate bullies, especially rich, arrogant ones who think they have some God-given right to do whatever they like, however morally dubious or environmentally dangerous. In 2017 we need Greenpeace more than ever. It would be a tragedy for all of us if it was stopped from telling the truth. "

Dede Cummings

DeeVon Quirolo

Denise Chavez

Diego Creimer

Dionne Brand

Dmitry Glukhovsky

Domenico Quirico

Dominic Champagne

Dorthe Nors

Edwy Plenel

Elena Poniatowska

Dr. Elizabeth Abbott

Emma Gilbey Keller

Erica Lyle

Erri de Luca

Esi Edugyan

Favel Parrett

"I don’t want my words printed on paper that has come from protected forests."

Federico Rossi Edrighi

Florence Aubenas

Franke James

Frédéric Couderc

Gabriel Vânău

"The forest is full of riches, why not properly conserve this source of wealth?"

Gabrielle Balkan

Gail (Skroback) Hennessey

Gary Shteyngart

Gayle J Beatty

Gianni Minà

Gérard Mordillat

Giacomo Bevilacqua

Gianrico Carofiglio

Gigi Cavenago

Gilles Martin-Chauffier

Gina Carroll

Dr Glory Van Scott

Dr. Graeme Taylor

Gus Speth

Guy Dauncey

Hap Wilson

Hubert Forcier

Ian Mc​Calman

Ian Rankin

Ib Michael

Ilaria Urbinati

Innosanto Nagara

"When I read my picture book about being a kid under the Suharto dictatorship in Indonesia to kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders—they all understand why those who trample on FREE SPEECH and the RIGHT TO PROTEST are bad guys. How is it that modern, supposedly democratic governments are not able to grasp this?"

Jackie Hunt Christensen

James Frazee

Jan Krause Greene

Jane Ray

"The peaceful protection of the worlds forests is both a right and a sacred duty. To protect the forest is to protect the planet and the future."

Jason Del Gandio

Jean-Luc Barré

Jerry Mander

Jill Lublin

John Birmingham

"When they have no chance of winning an argument, that’s when they try to silence you. And that’s when you really have to speak out."

John Kay

"Resolute’s conduct is more than reprehensible, it is punishable. According to various reports Resolute did damage to the Boreal Forests and then, when called on it, they attempt to bludgeon their critics into submission with spurious lawsuits, even using the RICO statute. RICO…..really? A statute created for prosecuting organized crime etc. Smells like desperation to me. Then again with Resolute’s stock in the basement and with some of their FSC certificates suspended or terminated, desperation is probably what this is. But this is about much more than that, it’s about freedom of speech. Every time a voice is silenced through bullying and the misuse of the legal system, we lose a part of our collective voice. That’s why I’m speaking out against this corporate intimidation, for as the Germans – who had come to this realization after WWII – say “Wer schweigt istSchult” He who is silent is guilty…..and I don’t wish to be." "

Jonah Sachs

"Democracy doesn’t just mean people get to drop a ballot in a box on election day. It means we all get to speak out for what matters most to us. Nothing is more dangerous to freedom than silencing people and organizations like Greenpeace that represent them. "

星川淳 / Jun Hoshikawa

"As a long-term environmentalist and as a writer, I categorically oppose this corporate lawsuit to silence legitimate voices opposing grave destruction of a forest ecosystem. Killing freedom of expression is a sure way to kill our living Earth. We are nothing if not a part of nature! "

Juan Villoro

Jürgen Banscherus

"Without trees no paper, without paper no books, without books no (at least limited)freedom of speech. Environmental protection is human protection."

Kaira Rouda

"Freedom of speech is a fundamental right of all Americans. And, so is clean air, and clean water. Our forests are a vital part of our ecosystem, our lives. Join us and stand for the freedom of words, the right to express ourselves. The right to come together and protect our beautiful environment. Stand with me in support of Greenpeace, to protect our forest, to protect our future."

Kaitlin A. Trepanier

Kaitlyn Regehr

Kate Pullinger

Ken Wishnia

Kevin Bailey

"Greenpeace works hard to maintain a healthy balance in our planet's ecosystems, from seas to mountain tops, for the benefit of future generations. "

Kieran Mulvaney

"At a time when environmental protections are coming under unprecedented assault, free speech in defense of those protections is more vital than ever. It is essential that civic society - individuals, non-governmental organizations and others – is free to speak out in defense of the truth without fear of intimidation and assault from the privileged, protected and powerful. Since its formation, Greenpeace has always been at the core of this effort, its fundamental mission to shine a light that cuts through the darkness. We must not allow that light to be extinguished. "

Kim Fupz Aakeson

"It is very greedy, they will cut down the forest and the freedom of expression."

Kim Kelly

"Corporate growth or old growth forests? Hm, there’s a tough one. I don’t want my words printed on pages made from trees that breathe life into unique and precious ecosystems – of birds and bugs and whole tiny worlds that live under and among the leaves – trees that have stood for more time than I will ever know. I’m pleading with my publishing confreres here: refuse to use paper made from protected trees. Just refuse, please."

Kristen Maxwell

"Nature is the creator and sustainer of all life and everything we hold dear. Love it, protect it, and fight for it as if your life depended on it—because it does."

Laure Waridel

"Free speech is the foundation of our democracy. It allows our society to protect the common good through the diversity of ideas. It goes hand in hand with freedom of conscience without which the human mind would be caught in a vice and slowly squeezed to death."

Laurent Binet

Laurent Gaudé

Laurent Gounelle

"Greenpeace is the redeeming compass that points to the awakening of our consciousness. "

Leigh Raiford

Lisa Olstein

"Language forms us as much as it informs us, establishing the terms by which we understand the world, defining our horizons. In an era when language is relentlessly, cynically manipulated by those in power to exploit emotion as often as to spin meaning, freedom of speech and expression have never been more essential."

Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Liz Walker

"Together we can make a stand for using the forests of the world in a responsible way - one that sustains habitat for multiple species while also providing sustainably harvested lumber."

Lorena Canottiere

Louise Bernice Halfe

Louise Penny

Luca Mercalli

Luigi Riva

Lyle Estill

Manuele Fior

Mănoiu Valentina-Mariana

Marc Dugain

Marco Damilano

Marco Travaglio

Marina Moskvina

Mark A. Burch

"The free flow of ideas is fundamental to the evolution of civilization. Those who would seek to curtail freedoms of speech, assembly, and collective action merely to protect shareholder returns on investment also strangle the cultural innovation that our children and grandchildren will require for a good life in the future. Let’s stand together to protect the right we need to flourish now and in the future."

Mark Laiosa

Mary-Wynne Ashford

Massimo Cacciari

Mathis Wackernagel, Ph.D.

"How can anybody look into the mirror who is standing in the way of protecting a future where all can thrive within the means of our planet. Reckless extraction needs to be exposed."

Matilda Temperley

Matt Rigney

"As an environmental journalist, I know too well all the reasons why corporations can no longer extract resources without concern for the impact those actions have on the environment. Sustainably-managed resources continue to provide benefits to humans and other creatures. Poorly managed resources benefit humans once only, but they leave in their wake degraded or destroyed ecosystems, collapsed jobs and towns, and a lot of misery. Some corporations understand this, but too many do not. Now some corporate entities want to go so far as to limit free speech in the form of blocking legal challenges from organizations seeking to stop their destructive practices. Such entities—like Resolute Forest Products—care nothing about democracy, freedom of speech, The Commons, or natural resources. They care only about profit. This position is counter to the values of any free society and shows exactly why unrestricted corporations are fundamentally incompatible with democracy."

Matteo Righetto

"I support Greenpeace because nothing is as sad as a dead forest. Let’s defend the environment."

Maurizio Pallante

Mélanie Sadler

Mich Vraa

"In a political environment that does not take into account what is best for the climate, there is more than ever need for powerful environmental organizations, who dare to speak out on behalf of nature and the environment both locally and globally. We should all fight for that they can work without fear of harassment in the form of absurd litigation. "

Mike Nickerson

Miriam Toews

"I stand in solidarity with Greenpeace and support their ongoing work to protect the planet and human rights. "

Moira Munro

"The children who enjoy the books I've written or illustrated need a future. I want to know that publishers are taking the utmost care to source their paper from sustainable sources, preserving our forests as well as our freedom of speech. Resolute seem to pose a threat to both."

Morten Ramsland

"I support Greenpeace's work for the environment and theirs - and everyone else’s – right to express themselves about it. "

Nancy Huston

Nathalie Peyrebonne

Neelam Taneja Uppal, MD

Nikki Van Der Car

Nina Bolt

"Greenpeace is the watchdog for the environment, which unfortunately our politicians are not always, but should be."

Nino Ricci

"The SLAPP suits against Greenpeace set an extremely dangerous precedent for freedom of expression. When free expression goes, we are all diminished, because along with it goes the prospect of peaceful dissent and of positive change."

Normand Landry

Oleg Kashin

Paolo Rumiz

Patrick Manoukian

Patrick Poivre d'Arvor

Paul Aertker

Paul Maar

Rhiannon Lassiter

"We wouldn’t have books without paper but the paper produced by Resolute comes at a price. This company has damaged forests, harmed habitats and violated indigenous people's rights. Now they are trying to silence anyone who protests against them. All authors should urge their publishers to turn over a new leaf by ensuring our books are printed on ethical sustainable paper. "

Paul Hawken

Paul Kivel

Peter Willcox

Philip Hatfield

Philippe Claudel

"My flesh is root, my blood is sap, my dreams and thoughts, bright and lively foliage. Nature is my skin and my soul. "

Philippe Vilain

Pinky Beecroft (Matt Ford)

"Multimillion-dollar lawsuits designed purely to silence opposition: this is happening, right here. It's crucial that we protect the right to speak out against corporations that engage in illegal activity. Or we're doomed."

Rachel Thompson

Raj Patel

Ramsey Kanaan

Ratigher (Francesco D’Erminio)

Raimond Gaita

Robert Manne

Razmig Keucheyan

山田玲司 / Reiji Yamada

"More than ever I feel an oppressive atmosphere around me, that we cannot speak the truth or talk about what is most important. I feel that things were better than this ten years ago, and even at that time we could say that we had no freedom. If you said anything particularly progressive about the environment, in the blink of an eye, you would be labelled as a foolish dreamer, so instead of being drawn into an unwinnable and nitpicky debate, many of my colleagues ended up just remaining silent about issues like nuclear power and the environment. My work is ultimately to heal people's spirit and to give people courage. Because of that, since a certain point in time I have been engaged in a variety of creative activities, thinking that I could become "a healer of the spirit." That is the activity that I think I should be doing. The continually worsening state of the world today is something that I cannot ignore as someone else's problem. I support the simple aspirations of Greenpeace to create a world that allows freedom of speech, a world that does not sacrifice the forests and oceans."

Richard Bernabe

Richard Bosworth

"In its attack on democracy and free speech, Resolute Forests Products needs to be opposed with resolution, resolution, resolution,"

Richard Heinberg

"Trying to silence protectors of forests with lawsuits asking absurdly inflated monetary damages is cowardly. More power to the brave activists of Greenpeace!"

Rob Roy

Robert Reich

Roberto Saviano

"Freedom is written on paper, paper can be free when it comes from forests that are as alive as words."

Robin Romm

"How can we possibly call ourselves American without this fundamental right —the right to speak up, to protest, to explain, explore, educate, emote? Now is the time to be loud."

Ronni Solbert

Dr. Ross King

本間 龍 / Ryu Honma

"I fully support the activities of Greenpeace. Resolute Forest Products should immediately stop its illegal logging and should halt its unfair lawsuit against Greenpeace. I also strongly call upon the publishers around the world that do business with Resolute Forest Products to follow their own environmental policies and reach out to that company to get it to immediately stop its destructive logging of forests and attacks on free speech."

Sabina Berman

"Getting along with Nature requires a revolution. In fact, a fall within our bodies an to the core of our hearts. Learning to live like that."

Sandro Veronesi

Sara Dahman

Sarah Selecky

Sébastien Gendron

Serge Mongeau

Shelley Michael

Sherrie Flick

Signe Wenneberg

"There is nothing more important to speak out about in our time than the climate, environment and sustainability. I support Greenpeace and the right to speak out."

Steve Solomon

Susan George

Susan Reed

Susan Savion

Susan I Weinstein

Susanna Tamaro

"The peaceful struggle against environmental degradation is crucial to our time."

Susi Newborn

"When a multinational is offended by and tries to silence those who speak truth to power, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures to destroy a right for which many generations have fought long and hard. Shame on you, Resolute!"

Tara Moss

"The freedom to speak out is a central human right, and should not be decided by who can afford the most expensive legal team. When we silence the peaceful protests of citizens in favour of a corporation’s bottom line, we can no longer claim to be a democracy."

Terry Tempest Williams

Tessa Clare

Tim Grant

Tim McCaskell

Travis Flores

Travis Nichols

Tristram Stuart

"It is vitally important for campaigning organisations everywhere that companies like Resolute discover they cannot use their gigantic corporate power to crush criticism of their actions. The most straightforward way companies will learn this lesson is for all of us who use free speech to protect the natural world to stand up and protest."

Tuono Pettinato (Andrea Paggiaro)

Vatsala Sperling

Virginie Troussier

Wen Stephenson

Wilfrid Lupano

William Rees

"Humanity is in 'overshoot' consuming even renewable resources faster than they can regenerate -- growth fetishism has made the economy dangerously parasitic on the ecosphere. If we cannot speak freely about this and how to fix it, is there anything worth talking about?"

Wu Ming 4 (Federico Guglielmi)

Yasmina Khadra

"He who walks to the light is never alone. "

Yvonne Aburrow

Zephyr Teachout

Zerocalcare (Michele Rech)

Zillah Eisenstein

"Without unintimidated thought and speech there is no democratic life. Greenpeace must have the support to do this work--so that the globe can thrive."

Authors have pledged their support for free speech and forests. Will publishing companies be next? Sign the message to Resolute’s paper customers in the publishing industry!

Background Image by Barron Webster on Flickr.