Federal Court Dismisses Resolute SLAPP Suit Against Greenpeace
by Annie Leonard
October 17, 2017
The court’s decision sends a clear message to corporations that attacks on core democratic values like freedom of speech and legitimate advocacy on issues of public interest will not be tolerated.
Resolute Forest Products sued Greenpeace for $276 million trying to paint us as part of a criminal enterprise — simply because we spoke out to defend the Boreal forest. If it had won, Greenpeace USA would likely have been forced to close its doors.
The United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed ALL of Resolute’s claims in this suit. District Judge Jon S. Tigar wrote that,
“the defendant’s’ speech constituted the expression of opinion, or different viewpoints that [are] a vital part of our democracy.” Noting that “Greenpeace’s publications at issue rely on scientific research or fact.”
The fight isn’t over yet. I hope that Resolute is finally working to address its destructive forestry operations and forge a collaborative and sustainable path forward. Resolute still needs to drop its meritless lawsuit against Greenpeace Canada.
And other corporations are mimicking Resolute’s failed attack. Energy Transfer Partners — the oil company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline — has hired the same law firm to sue Greenpeace as part of a criminal enterprise. And, no surprise, it’s Trump’s go-to law firm too!
These cases don’t seek justice. They intend to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This pattern of harassment by corporate bullies must be stopped in its tracks.
So we’re going to fight harder than ever.
The world needs a healthy Boreal forest and certainly doesn’t need more oil projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline. Together, we can develop long term sustainable solutions that respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples, protect local communities, and ensure the survival of the wildlife that makes our planet so beautiful.