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5 Nov 2018

Molly Dorozenski, Greenpeace

Commentary: Companies' attempts to silence human rights advocates & attack free speech - Energy Transfer Partners' lawsuit against Greenpeace

"7 Things You Need to Know About ETP’s Lawsuit Against Greenpeace", 7 Dec 2017

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) – the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline – has filed a lawsuit against Greenpeace and others, in its...attempt to silence advocacy work and attack the fundamental right to free speech...Here’s what you need to know about the suit.

1. What is a ‘SLAPP’ suit?

SLAPP stands for “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.”...The purpose of a SLAPP is to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with legal claims...
2. Why is ETP using a SLAPP?

...ETP is suing Greenpeace for at least USD $900million.  The corporation’s hope is that the prospect of having to pay this...will intimidate Greenpeace and others into silence...

3. This is a worrying trend

...[T]he use of this...tactic by corporations is on the rise...The SLAPP suit is designed to send a loud message so that any activist...that takes on giant corporations will have to think twice before standing up for what they believe in...


6. They’re clutching at straws…

...ETP is using the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO)...ETP claims that Greenpeace led a corrupt environmentalist enterprise that “cynically planted radical, violent eco-terrorists on the ground amongst the protesters, and directly funded their operations” – a baseless attempt to mislabel legal advocacy as criminal conduct...

Part of the following timelines

Energy Transfer lawsuit (re Dakota Access Pipeline, USA)

Resolute Forest Products lawsuits (re alleged racketeering & defamation by environmental organizations, USA)