Logging Company’s Attack On Environmental Activist Groups Dismissed By Federal Court

480666270_3dc5f965d8_b-750x379

By Kevin Gosztola for Shadow Proof – A lawsuit by Resolute Forest Products, a logging company, to suppress environmental activism against its forestry operations was dismissed by a federal court. It targeted Greenpeace and Stand.earth’s freedom of speech and right to dissent, alleging the organizations engaged in racketeering and defamation against the company. Annie Leonard, the executive director of Greenpeace USA, reacted, “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 decision sets a precedent that activities conducted by the defendants to draw attention to Resolute’s unsustainable clear-cutting in the Canadian boreal forest are legitimate advocacy protected by the First Amendment. The judge’s decision sends a clear message that unfettered corporate attacks on free speech will not stand up in court,” Stand.earth declared. Resolute filed a $7 million defamation case against Greenpeace Canada in 2013 that remains pending. What Resolute filed is known as a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) lawsuit. They are, as PR Watch has previously documented, employed by corporations to shut people up and burden them with the cost of legal defenses.

Federal Court Dismisses Resolute SLAPP Suit Against Greenpeace

boreal-forest

By Staff of Greenpeace – SAN FRANCISCO, October 16, 2017 — Today, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed all claims in the controversial case that major logging company Resolute Forest Products [2] filed against Greenpeace Inc., Greenpeace Fund, and Greenpeace International, Stand.earth and individual defendants, including claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) act. 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. District Judge Jon S. Tigar wrote in his order dismissing the case that “the defendants’ 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 judge added that “[t]he academy, and not the courthouse, is the appropriate place to resolve scientific disagreements of this kind.” Resolute will be allowed to amend its filing as a formality, but Greenpeace is confident that any such attempt will meet a similar fate. Greenpeace USA General Counsel Tom Wetterer said in response to the decision:

Vancouver Environmental Group Stand.Earth Cries 'Corporate Intimidation'

On October 17, a pair of B.C. sheriffs visited the Vancouver headquarters of an environmental nonprofit named Stand.earth to collect money related to a failed court challenge.
STAND.EARTH

By Travis Lupick for The Georgia Straight – A Vancouver-based environmental group received an unwelcome visit by police today (October 17). “At this moment sheriffs are waiting outside the Stand.earth office at 207 W Hastings on Enbridge’s orders to seize all assets of the organization,” reads a media release issued by the nonprofit organization. “This morning our staff was served a notice of writ of seizure and sale, and two sheriffs showed up at our door, demanding to take all of our assets.” Stand.earth was previously known as ForestEthics and has operated out of a Vancouver office since 2000. This morning’s visit by police relates to a court challenge the organization mounted against the National Energy Board’s 2014 approval of an Enbridge pipeline that was planned to run from Alberta to eastern Canada. Enrbidge acted as an intervenor in the case. The challenge was eventually dismissed and Stand.earth was ordered to pay the oil and gas giant’s legal fees, which amounted to $14,000. Stand.earth never paid. Next, Enbridge obtained a court order concerning damages. Then, today, police officers responding to that court order visited Stand.earth’s headquarters in order to collect on the debt.

Act Out! Hitler Day, Columbus Day And More

1ao

By Eleanor Goldfield for Occupy.com. This week on Act Out!, why Indigenous People’s Day matters: Decolonizing the mind, the power of language, ideas and shifting paradigms. Next up, there’s an epidemic of horrendous proportions in this country – and yet you may not have heard about it. We talk about the recently introduced Savanna’s Act and raising awareness for stolen sisters. Finally, we sit down again with Mohawk film maker Paulette Moore. Kahsto’sera’a Paulette Moore is a Kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) filmmaker and educator currently collaborating with Free Speech TV to complete a series of films about the 2016/17 Standing Rock water protection actions. Her focus is to decolonize and Indigenize media arts in the context of Indigenous response to environmental extraction.

Coalition Of Water Protectors Call For Nestlé Boycott

North Carolina Nixes Part Of The Atlantic Coast Pipeline Proposal

1acp

By Lisa Sorg for The Progressive Pulse – The NC Department of Environmental Quality has rejected the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s erosion and sediment control plan, dealing yet another setback to the $5.5 billion project. In a letter dated Sept. 26, the Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources told the ACP owners it had disapproved the plan, primarily because there was so much missing information. The ACP is co-owned by Dominion Energy, Duke Energy, Southeast Energy Company and Piedmont Natural Gas. The utilities have until Oct. 11 to submit a revised plan for consideration. If they want to contest DEQ’s disapproval, they must request an administrative hearing by Nov. 25. ACP’s plan, according to the letter, failed to provide detailed construction sequence and erosion control methods, plus measures required to protect all public and private property from construction damage. DEQ lists the shortcomings of the plan in 17 separate points over three pages. A specific concern for DEQ is the potential damage pipeline construction would have on the Neuse River. The plan, which originally called for open trenching, has been changed to a method known as a cofferdam. A cofferdam is an enclosure placed in a river, for example, that allows the water to be pumped out. However, the Neuse River is a habitat for many threatened or at-risk species, including the Neuse River waterdog, and draining the water could kill them. The utilities have claimed that they would try to collect any key species and relocate them — where, though, they didn’t say.

Direct Action Ramps Up Resistance To Line 3

1line

By Unicorn Riot. Superior, WI – Resistance against Enbridge’s Line 3 Pipeline expansion is ramping up. Near the Fon du Lac Reservation, at the front line camp, Makwa, water protectors, land defenders, warriors, and others have participated in a wave of civil disobedience that has resulted in 16 arrests in multiple actions that have delayed construction work on the pipeline in the last month. On the morning of September 18, Unicorn Riot covered another direct action to stop construction on the Wisconsin side of the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

TransCanada Terminates Energy East Pipeline Project

TransCanada terminates Energy East pipeline project

By Mike De Souza for National Observer – TransCanada Corp. has terminated its Energy East pipeline, triggering a $1 billion loss and bringing an end to an epic battle between politicians, big oil, Indigenous leaders and environmental groups. In a statement released on Thursday morning, the Calgary-based company’s president and chief executive officer, Russ Girling, said it was notifying the federal regulator, the National Energy Board, and Quebec’s Environment Department of its decision, after reviewing “changed circumstances.” Girling said the decision would cost his company $1 billion due to the investments it has already made in the project. The company said it wasn’t expecting to recover any of its losses from any third parties since it failed to get a regulatory decision on the project. “We appreciate and are thankful for the support of labour, business and manufacturing organizations, industry, our customers, Irving Oil, various governments, and the approximately 200 municipalities who passed resolutions in favour of the projects,” Girling said in the statement. “Most of all, we thank Canadians across the country who contributed towards the development of these initiatives.”

Earthjustice Wins 16-Year-Long Battle To Protect 50 Million Acres Of Forests

Earthjustice attorney Ted Zukoski (left) stands in Colorado's Sunset Roadless Area. Zukoski is one of the Earthjustice attorneys who worked to save the Roadless Rule.

WILD EARTH GUARDIANS / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

By Jessica A. Knoblauch for Earth Justice – A decades-long fight over a landmark rule protecting wild forests nationwide took another successful–and possibly final–turn last week after a U.S. district court threw out a last-ditch attack by the state of Alaska against the Roadless Rule. Adopted in the closing days of the Clinton administration, the Roadless Rule prohibits most logging and road construction in roadless areas of national forests. These lands, today equaling about 50 million acres or about the size of Nebraska, are some of the wildest places left in America. Upon its passage, the rule was overwhelmingly popular with the American people, including those who like to hike, camp, fish and recreate among the trees in wild, unmarred areas. The Forest Service also liked the rule, since, at the time, the agency had a multibillion-dollar backlog on maintenance for more than 400,000 miles of existing roads, and it wasn’t eager to add even more to its workload. Yet, despite its popularity, state political leaders with ties to the logging and timber industries hated the new rule. Even before President Clinton left office, they began their attack. The Bush administration, which took office just eight days later, failed to come to the rule’s defense. “It created this vacuum,” says Earthjustice attorney Tom Waldo, one of the legal architects of the organization’s Roadless Rule strategy. “So Earthjustice stepped in.”

Watch: Environmentalists Confront Cuomo’s ‘Energy Czar’

Eelke/ flickr

By Peter Rugh for Indypendent – When it comes to environmental champions in the United States, you might think of Rachel Carson laboring away at Silent Spring in the early 1960s. Maybe present day climate and environmental justice groups come to mind, like Uprose and 350.org. You’ve got it all wrong. Today’s ecological changemakers wear sports coats, have lanyards around their necks and hope to eek greenbacks out of green energy in the years to come. At least that’s the impression one might get from attending REV Future 2017 at the Marriott in Downtown Brooklyn, where a host of representatives from renewable energy start-ups and New York State regulators gathered on Tuesday to plot the future of New York’s energy grid. “REV” stands for Reforming Energy Vision, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s blueprint to reduce the state’s emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. The folks at Rev Future really do have the power to transform New York’s energy supply under the current REV schema, as outlined by Cuomo’s “Energy Csar” Richard Kauffman — Chair of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Kauffman’s plan includes the creation of renewable energy markets and a green bank to finance new clean energy programs.

International Day Of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations

log-pile-with-machine-e1428608658482-1140

By Staff of GE Trees – In April and June of this year, the Campaign to STOP GE Trees organized a delegation to Chile to examine and document the impacts of monoculture pine and eucalyptus plantations in the country. This post includes a photo essay of from the delegation in a community ravaged by the worst wildfires in the country’s history–directly connected to tree plantations. This photo essay, “Chile’s 2017 Devastating Fires – The Legacy of Pinochet Continues” was shot by GJEP co-founder and Langelle Photography Director Orin Langelle. In Portugal in June, a drought and heatwave caused a wildfire to explode into an uncontrollable firestorm that killed dozens of people. The fires were fueled by highly flammable eucalyptus plantations, as the video below explains.

Waterborne Demonstration Puts Pentagon’s Environmental Impact Front And Center

36477325323_a8b1b9206f_k-1024x678

By John Zangas and Anne Meador for DC Media Group – Arlington, Va. — On Sunday afternoon, the Backbone Campaign, World Without War, the Raging Grannies, and other peace and environmental groups staged the spectacular banner hoist using a flotilla of linked kayakers in the lagoon just off the Potomac. About 50 kayakers took part in the event which was caught on camera by media on a press boat nearby. While many demonstrations are held at government buildings in the nation’s capital, you’ll see few at the Pentagon protesting against the world’s largest military. The reason is because security concerns make it very difficult for activists to get anywhere near it. But several environmental groups staged a never-tried-before naval approach by paddling kayaks to a point just outside the Pentagon exclusion zone. Kayakers launched their vessels into the lagoon just north of military complex along with a giant inflated earth replica and several large banners. The kayaktivists, as they call themselves, hoisted poles with the giant banners, which read, “Stop War On Planet” and “No Oils for War, No Wars for Oil!” The action drew attention to several concerns, including local upstream water pollution which Pentagon procurement is a contributor.

Newsletter – No #NAFTA2, Yes To Trade For People & Planet

16252087_10208425543224765_7115266824784863319_o

By Daniel Cooper Bermudez. The Trump administration is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico in secret, just as President Obama did with the TPP. Over the past two decades, NAFTA has resulted in workers losing their jobs and being replaced by machinery, ruined family farms throughout the continent, displaced communities and privatized social services, environmental disasters like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and a widespread attack on labor rights and unions. This week, we explain our opposition to NAFTA2 and put forward a strategy to remake trade so it is no longer corporate-driven trade for the profits of a few, but people-driven trade to benefit all and protect the planet.

Sacred Space On Jones Street

p_20170905_09

By Staff of Fast To Support Deq – Pictured above are Maple Osterbrink of Durham, Steve Norris of Asheville, and Kay Reibold of Raleigh. Steve and Kay have already begun laying groundwork for the construction of a solarized sacred space of some sort in the direct path of the pipeline should that become necessary later this fall. Last week on a conference call, however, Steve made the insightful observation that the first sacred space we’ll build will be the community of fasters and pipeline resisters we develop these two weeks in Raleigh and around the state. Shortly after the picture was taken, we began making Steve’s words a reality. We lit a few pinches of dried sage on fire which Maple had thought to bring and we placed it down on the sidewalk between us. Then as the smoke rose, we joined hands together as Kay and Maple spoke from the heart about their hopes for the coming days. The moment reminded me of last March during APPPL’s walk along the proposed route of the ACP when the Lumbee invited us into the sacred circle at their spring equinox ceremonies. Sage and Spirit, we learned today, are as powerful on the streets of Raleigh as in the beauty of rural Robeson County.

No War 2017: War And The Environment

Photograph: Charles O’Rear, Environmental Protection Agency

By Staff of World Beyond War – These campaigns, which can be carried out by a small group, educate the public to the profits that are one of the driving forces for the continuation of nuclear weapons programs, and offers the possibility of bringing economic pressure in support of nuclear disarmament. The “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” campaign was developed in the Netherlands and operates throughout Europe.There the focus is on requesting investment funds to exclude corporations making nuclear weapons from their portfolios. Since the launch of that Campaign, 122 nations with a mandate from the UN General Assembly voted for a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons which bans them and outlaws any prohibited activities related to nuclear weapons, including use, threat to use, development, testing, production, manufacturing, acquiring, possession, stockpiling, transferring, receiving, stationing, installation, and deployment. In the U.S. the nuclear weapons corporations are a much more significant component of the economy.The first successful campaign in the US was requesting the Cambridge City Council to ask its Municipal Pension Fund to divest from such corporations, in particular Lockheed-Martin.