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Article

8 May 2017

Author:
Molly Dorozenski, Greenpeace

6 Ways Corporate Lawsuits Kill Free Speech (and How to Fight Back!)

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Free speech is a right. So how can a corporation possibly stop you from speaking out? Using a legal tactic called a SLAPP, corporations like the massive Canadian logging company, Resolute Forest Products, are attempting to crack down on free speech by suing their critics into submission...

SLAPP stands for "Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation." As the name implies, they're used by corporations trying to shut down public participation. SLAPPs are often filed without any kind of merit, just to cause financial harm to individuals and organizations who have to hire lawyers and engage in costly legal battles to continue their work...Many SLAPPs are for amounts of money that are nearly impossible to pay, forcing activists to choose between massive legal costs or shutting up...

A handful of countries around the world and 28 state legislatures in the United States have enacted anti-SLAPP laws to prevent frivolous lawsuits from being filed...But the laws remain imperfect and need to be strengthened and expanded to protect people everywhere...

When you're SLAPPED, stand FIRM...Fight back: SLAPPs don't stand up to scrutiny and it's important to explore your legal options and build a strong legal defense....Investigate: continue to examine and expose the practices of the corporation suing you– they wouldn't resort to these tactics if they didn't have something to hide...Rally. Bring together your free speech allies to help support the cause and amplify your message.

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