Big Oil Greed v the Truth: Greenpeace on Trial Over Standing Rock

by Greenpeace USA

February 28, 2024

Greenpeace is going to trial this summer. The case will determine the future of Greenpeace USA and the entire movement.

It’s all hands on deck: we need to stand together against greedy polluters wrecking our climate and communities.

For more than 50 years, Greenpeace has exercised our right to peacefully protest and expose environmental harm — even when that means exposing powerful people and companies. That is the soul of Greenpeace.

Big Oil wants to silence us because they know that people-power works.

This particular attack started in 2017 when Energy Transfer, the oil company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, sued Greenpeace USA. They claim that we orchestrated the entire resistance at Standing Rock–in other words, they’re trying to rewrite history and erase Indigenous leadership from one of the most powerful protests in history.

Now, this July, Greenpeace USA is being put on trial for a whopping $300 million — an amount that threatens our ability to do the kind of bold and necessary work needed to realize the greener future we all deserve. Let me be absolutely clear, the claims of Energy Tranfer’s abusive lawsuit are ridiculous.

Oil companies know that protest works — now they’re trying to make the consequences too high for anyone to want to risk it. They’re trying to destroy our soul.

But we’re fighting back.

As I’ve discussed with Greenpeace volunteers and allies, our goal can’t just be to win this lawsuit — we must stop this corporate bullying for good. We need to come back stronger than ever. We need to show them we’re more than just an organization. We’re a movement and we can’t be silenced. As we said following the 1985 bombing of the Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior, “You can’t sink a rainbow.”

We need your help.

With more intense floods, hurricanes, and fires threatening people across the world, it’s no wonder that two-thirds of Americans want action on climate change.

From Standing Rock to the Gulf South and in communities across the country, we’ve united to protect our health and wellbeing and make oil and gas executives feel our power. And they’re scared.

People hold signs at a sit in in support of the Standing Rock Nation at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In actions around the world people are calling on the Corps to cancel permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

That’s why Big Oil and their government allies are fighting tooth and nail — dirty tricks and all — to protect the status quo and keep lining their pockets.

We must rise up against these attempts to silence our voices.

Thousands of Greenpeace allies and supporters are already heeding the call. We’re ready to expose the corporate bullies and their authoritarian allies in government. Our democracy — and our chance for a green, just, and joyful livable future — depend on it.

Important Facts about the Greenpeace Standing Rock Trial:

The case aims to

  1. Undermine Indigenous sovereignty at Standing Rock: The case alleges that Greenpeace orchestrated the entire resistance movement at Standing Rock, which is obviously false and seeks to erase the truth of this powerful Indigenous-led movement.
  2. Establish new case law that could hold people and organizations responsible for the actions of unknown individuals if they have any involvement in a protest. The chilling impact this could have on protest in this country would be profound.
  3. Destroy a 50+ year old environmental organization with an incomparable track record of exposing the truth about corporate polluters: Energy Transfer originally sued Greenpeace offices for $900 million using the RICO statute. While RICO has been thrown out, the case still seeks $300 million in damages. The aim of this suit is to put us out of business, put a halt to our high impact campaigns, and scare others into silence.

We’re not alone. For decades, labor unions, grassroots activists, journalists and other organizations have been hit with similar lawsuits designed to intimidate them just for using their voice. But this might be the biggest attack yet! We won’t let that stop us from all the important work we do. We will not be silenced!

Greenpeace USA

By Greenpeace USA

Greenpeace is a global network of independent campaigning organizations that use peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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