November 16, 2022
Contact: Lauren Regan, Senior Attorney and Director
(541) 687-9180, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rogue Climate and 350 Eugene challenge Oregon Titan Fusion Center, demanding enforcement of anti-surveillance law and an end to illegal surveillance of activists.
EUGENE, OREGON – CLDC and Plaintiffs Rogue Climate, based in southern Oregon, and 350EUG (“350 Eugene”) based in Eugene, OR, have moved to intervene in an Oregon state court challenge that was initiated last year against the Oregon Department of Justice and other defendants. The suit was filed by NYU’s Policing Project on behalf of four southern Oregon activists. CLDC intervened in the suit on behalf of Rogue Climate and 350 Eugene based upon evidence of illegal surveillance of their lawful climate organizing work against the Jordan Cove natural gas pipeline (LNG).
The plaintiffs are asking the court to declare that the surveillance actions taken by the Oregon Titan Fusion Center, through the Oregon Department of Justice, violated the constitution and that the Center operates without legal authority. The case presents a rare opportunity to enforce Oregon’s anti-surveillance law (ORS 181A.250), and will be a case of first impression in Oregon and perhaps the U.S. since the advent of digital surveillance and Fusion Center technologies.
Reminiscent of the COINTELPRO era of illegal government spying upon political activists during the 1960’s and 70’s, this modern incarnation challenges state surveillance of activists and seeks to expose and halt the “big brother” spy tactics of the modern surveillance state apparatus. Fusion Centers have come up in a lot of CLDC’s recent climate defense work — such as Standing Rock (ND), Bayou Bridge (L’eau est la vie) (LA), Tar Sands Blockade (TX), and the No LNG Campaign in Southern Oregon — the crux of this lawsuit.
“We are hopeful that this case will force open a crack that will expose the Orwellian spy apparatus that readies itself to crush dissent, protest, and climate justice in Oregon and around the U.S. Unchecked, illegal government surveillance upon lawful political organizing severely erodes the first amendment rights to assemble, organize and exercise free speech rights.” said Lauren Regan, Director and one of plaintiffs’ attorneys with the Civil Liberties Defense Center.
Motion to intervene can be read here: Motion to intervene
Proposed intervenors complaint can be read here: Proposed complaint
Original complaint can be read here: Original complaint