As part of CLDC’s continuous activist defense program, we invite you to learn about Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) and how to best armor you or your organization by joining a free webinar with Lauren Regan, our Executive Director & Senior Staff Attorney, and Kristina Flores, Climate Campaigner at Stand.earth. In advance of the webinar we want to offer some background and context about what Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) suits are and how unethical individuals and deep-pocketed corporations use them as a tool to attempt to chill public protest, waste their enemies’ resources, and sap the morale of those resisting them.
On the surface, SLAPPs pretend to be legitimate civil lawsuits, but are actually frivolous abuses of the court system intended to silence those who threaten capitalism and are part of a global trend of harassing, intimidating, and jailing climate defenders, antifascists, and other social justice activists.
In an attempt to scare away the next massive wave of pipeline resistance, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), the corporation behind the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) sued Water Protectors from Oceti Sakowin Camp (Standing Rock): Krystal Two Bulls, Cody Larson (Native American activists), and other POC organizers, as well as numerous seemingly random and organizations such as Greenpeace, BankTrack, and Earth First! for $900 million. Outrageously, ETP desperately claimed that the indigenous-led anti-pipeline resistance defamed them and should be considered racketeering under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The CLDC is proud to have defended Water Protectors and contributed to the effort to foil ETP’s corporate greed and its attack on free speech. In February 2019 the federal lawsuit was thrown out of court and our movement claimed yet another SLAPP victory.
The CLDC is a proud member of the Protect the Protest coalition, which came together to defend activists and their organizations’ right to speak out against corporate corruption, human rights violations and environmental destruction. We hope that you will join us on the webinar (bit.ly/slappsuit) to learn more about SLAPP suits and the best practices you can utilize to better defend yourself and against them!
A note on our work: If you want to stand with us to defend frontline activists, the CLDC encourages you to join us as a monthly supporter or to make a one-time gift HERE. Thank you.