‘Weed 9’ Water Activists Present Legal Claim Against Sacramento Law Firm for Filing Malicious Lawsuit Aimed at Silencing Free Speech

April 30, 2020
Tags: #WaterRights, Weed 9
The Weed, California, community members claim Churchwell White LLP knowingly filed meritless and illegal SLAPP suit against them on behalf of Roseburg Forest Products. Eugene, OR, April 29, 2020 — Protect the Protest task force member Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) filed a lawsuit in the Siskiyou County Superior Court of… Read More
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A Federal Anti-SLAPP Law Would Make CDA 230 More Effective

September 05, 2018
Tags: Digital, Internet, Legislation
Julio Sharp-Wasserman and Evan Mascagni analyze one of the ways that a federal anti-SLAPP law would promote free speech online: it would close loopholes in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA 230). CDA 230 is designed to prevent a chilling effect…
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A Primer on the Texas Anti-SLAPP Statute

August 28, 2018
In 2011, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas signed the Texas Citizens Participation Act, an anti-SLAPP statute. In this article on the blog SlappedInTexas.com, Laura Lee Prather–the primary advocate for this legislation–describes the details of the law.
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Alleged Assailants Retaliate Against #MeToo Movement

August 28, 2018
Tags: #MeToo
As #MeToo survivors share their experiences of sexual assault and domestic violence, many have faced retaliatory lawsuits. The power imbalance between survivors and alleged assailants is especially apparent in the revelations involving high profile men in Hollywood and the public eye. Examples abound: Bill Cosby,…
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An Activist’s Guide: Reducing Exposure to SLAPP Lawsuits

March 12, 2019
Tags: guide, help, know your rights
The Protect the Protest task force encourages activists, community organizers, and public interest organizations in the United States to read An Activist’s Guide: Reducing Exposure to SLAPP Lawsuits. This guide provides an introduction to SLAPPs and advice on how to respond if you face a SLAPP threat. We hope…
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Best Practices for Avoiding Publication Liability

November 21, 2018
Tags: Defamation, Prevention
Suppose you are campaigning on an important topic and want to publish a blog, tweet, article, video, or report that exposes the wrongdoing of a company or individual. What steps can you take to avoid publication liability? The First Amendment Project has developed a Factsheet on Avoiding Publication Liability…
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Billionaires Bully the Media

August 28, 2018
The Harvey Weinstein scandal raised awareness of the tactics used by billionaires in the United States to keep the media from publishing critical stories. Weinstein used several tactics to prevent the sexual assault story from being published, including threatening to sue the New York Times for $50 million.
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California Anti-SLAPP Project

August 10, 2018
The California Anti-SLAPP Project (CASP) is a law firm that fights against SLAPPs and protects the First Amendment. The firm’s website has a number of resources to help those targeted by SLAPPs. While the resources are geared towards those in California, they provide a useful reference for individuals and…
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Chevron: Protect the Protest’s Corporate Bully of the Year

May 29, 2019
Tags: Chevron, CorporateBully, RICO
Today, activists gathered outside Chevron’s annual meeting to tell CEO Michael Wirth that the company must stop being a corporate bully. Speakers at the event said that the company has spent over $2 billion and engaged over 2,000 lawyers to avoid accountability for its environmental violations in Ecuador. Share this… Read More
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Civil Liberties Defense Center to Represent Environmental and Human Rights Lawyer Steven Donziger

May 18, 2020
Tags: Chevron, Steven Donziger
Contact: Lauren Regan, CLDC(541) 687-9180 On May 15, 2020, Civil Liberties Defense Center’s (CLDC) Executive Director & Senior Staff Attorney, Lauren Regan, officially joined Steven Donziger’s legal team as a lead trial attorney. In addition to Regan and former New York federal prosecutor Andrew Frisch, the team now includes nationally… Read More
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Coal Baron Files SLAPPs Against Those Who Criticize His Labor Practices

August 28, 2018
Robert Murray is a notorious coal baron who leads the country’s largest privately owned coal company, the Murray Energy Corporation. The company has been repeatedly sanctioned for failing to meet miner safety standards. Mr. Murray has close ties to President Trump. In June 2017, Murray sued comedian John…
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Communities Demand Accountability and an End to Chevron’s Pollution

May 21, 2021
For Immediate Release May 21, 2021 Contacts: Shoshana Wechsler at swechs@sonic.net +1.510.332.4110 Nyunt Than at nyuntthan@gmail.com +1.510.220.1323  Paul Paz y Miño at paz@amazonwatch.org +1.510.773.4635 Communities Demand Accountability and an End to Chevron’s Pollution During the 8th annual Anti-Chevron Day, affected frontline communities from around the world continue… Read More
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Companies Strike Back Against Negative Customer Reviews Online

August 28, 2018
Several companies have sued consumers who post negative reviews online. In December 2012, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed a controversial lower court decision that forced a customer, Jane Perez, to remove a negative review of a contractor on Yelp. The contractor, Christopher Dietz, had sued Ms. Perez for $750,000…
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Compendium of State Anti-SLAPP Statutes

February 01, 2018
In February 2018, the Uniform Law Commission published this compendium of states’ anti-SLAPP statutes. This document is helping to inform the Commission’s effort to develop model anti-SLAPP legislation that can be used to harmonize anti-SLAPP approaches across all 50 states.
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Congress Takes On SLAPPs — SPEAK Free Act of 2015 (H.R. 2304)

May 13, 2015
In May 2015, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) introduced the SPEAK Free Act (H.R. 2304) in Congress, a bill to end SLAPPs. The legislation received 32 co-sponsors, as well as support from across civil society. Although it did not advance, the bill remains an important reminder that bipartisan support exists…
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Consumer Protection Fairness Act: What Businesses Need to Know

February 28, 2017
After President Obama signed the Consumer Protection Fairness Act in 2016, the Federal Trade Commission published this factsheet to help inform businesses about the law’s requirements. The law protects people’s ability to voice their opinions online about a business’s products and services. It is a response to a series…
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Critical Free Speech Protections Are Under Attack in Texas

March 18, 2019
Tags: Anti-SLAPP Laws, EFF, TCPA, Texas, Texas Citizens Participation Act
Joe Mullin of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) discusses an effort to weaken Texans’ right to free speech by gutting the state’s anti-SLAPP law. The article was originally published on EFF’s website and is reprinted here with permission. ——– A bill introduced in Texas threatens the free… Read More
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Defamation, Libel, Slander…and Other Common SLAPP disguises

August 10, 2018
The California Anti-SLAPP Project created this factsheet to explain the types of legal claims (such as defamation, invasion of privacy, and conspiracy) that are often used to disguise a SLAPP. The definitions on this sheet apply specifically to California law, but provide a general overview that can…
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Defending Against a SLAPP

August 10, 2018
The California Anti-SLAPP project created this factsheet to describe the basic parts of litigation involving a SLAPP. Although the content is specific to California laws, it provides a general overview that can be useful for individuals and organizations facing SLAPPs in other jurisdictions.
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Encyclopedia of Types of SLAPPs

August 28, 2018
Legal bullies never admit that they are filing a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” (SLAPP); SLAPPs come disguised as legitimate legal claims. Here are some of the most common types of legal theories used in SLAPPs. Note: these legal theories all appear in legitimate lawsuits, as well; in each case,…
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ExxonMobil SLAPP Against Climate Change Activists

August 28, 2018
In November 2016, ExxonMobil subpoenaed over ten environmental organizations and individuals, as part of an effort to intimidate and chill the First Amendments rights of climate change activists. EarthRights International represents one of these activists, Carroll Muffett, the president of the Center for International Environmental Law.
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Factsheet: Kentucky’s Anti-SLAPP Legislation

February 19, 2020
Tags: Factsheet, guide, Kentucky
Download the Factsheet What Are SLAPPs? “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” (SLAPPs) are a particularly dangerous form of lawsuit. SLAPPs target civil society advocates, community leaders, journalists, whistleblowers, and everyday people who exercise their Constitutional rights. SLAPPs masquerade as ordinary civil lawsuits, but their true purpose is to…
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Forestry Company Faces Challenge to Its “Responsible Timber” Certification After Waging Intimidation Campaign Against Local Community

February 27, 2019
Tags: California, Roseburg, Water, Weed
WEED, CALIFORNIA – Citizens of Weed, California filed a complaint today with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) after Oregon-based Roseburg Forest Products refused to stop its abusive tactics in a bid to privatize the community’s main source of drinking water. The complaint alleges that Roseburg,… Read More
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Green Group Holdings SLAPP Against Community Activists

August 10, 2018
The ACLU represented community activists in Uniontown, Alabama who were sued for defamation when they expressed opposition to the dumping of hazardous coal ash in a landfill in their town. The landfill operator, Green Group Holdings, sued the residents for $30 million. In February 2017, the parties reached a settlement in…
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Green Groups: Suits to Silence Them on the Rise

April 14, 2017
Tags: Uniontown
In this article for Bloomberg Law, Peter Hayes describes a SLAPP filed against residents of Uniontown, Alabama who opposed the dumping of toxic material in a landfill in their community. While it’s difficult to estimate the number of SLAPPs, it’s clear…
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How Litigation Throttles Civic Advocacy

May 22, 2017
Tags: Greenpeace, Resolute, RICO
Bunny Mcdiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International discusses how corporations are using SLAPPs to target advocacy groups. This article explains why corporations would pursue a lawsuit that they expect to lose: “In many ways, hiring goons is a lot easier and…
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How SLAPPs Undermine Democracy: A Case Study of the USA

September 14, 2018
Tags: ETP
Charlie Holt, Legal Counsel at Greenpeace International, examines the rise of corporate power in democracies worldwide. With governments increasingly powerless to hold corporations accountable for wrongdoing, Holt writes that corporations are “increasingly responsive to only one thing: the opinion of their customers.”…
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Human Rights Watch: Green Activists are Fighting the Great Fight – but are being Dragged Down by Petty Lawsuits

May 10, 2019
Tags: Human Rights Watch, mining, Newsweek, South Africa
In Newsweek, Marcos Orellana of Human Rights Watch describes how companies worldwide are bringing baseless lawsuits against environmental activists. As Orellana describes, the purpose of this tactic is “to suppress environmental defenders’ effectiveness by intimidating them and burdening them with… Read More
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Landfill Operator Tries to Silence Community Activists in Alabama

August 28, 2018
Uniontown, Alabama is one of the poorest communities in the United States. Its population is 91% African American, and half of its residents live below the poverty line. Georgia-based Green Group Holdings operates a landfill in the town. When the company dumped millions of tons of toxic coal ash…
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Law Firm Uses Anti-Mafia Law to Harass Environmentalists

August 28, 2018
New York City-based law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP is attempting to use an anti-mafia law to stifle the free speech of civil society organizations. In July 2018, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Canadian logging giant, Resolute Forest Products, against environmental organizations Greenpeace and Stand.earth. Resolute and…
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Lawmakers Attempt to Open the Door for “Ag Gag” SLAPPs

December 31, 2017
Since 2012, at least 18 states have attempted to pass “ag gag” laws that prohibit undercover investigations and whistleblowing in animal agricultural facilities. In this article, the Center for Constitutional Rights(CCR) describes the amicus briefs it has submitted in cases challenging Idaho’s and Utah’s ag-gag laws. This report by the…
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Revoke Chevron’s License to Spill!

June 11, 2021
 Justice must be served in the Amazon In an effort to shareChevron’s widespread harms in a new, engaging way, the Protect the Protest task force is proud to launch our License to Spill campaign. Our hope is to bring a wider audience into the fight for justice for the people… Read More
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SLAPPed: A Tool for Activists

May 15, 2014
The ACLU of Ohio developed this guide to help activists better understand SLAPPs and how to defend against them. The guide includes a brief history of SLAPPs and a description of modern SLAPPs, including those against free speech online.
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SLAPPs: Getting Sued for Speaking Out (1996)

January 01, 1996
This book, by the two professors who coined the term “SLAPP,” charts the history of SLAPPs. The book examines the history of how the courts have addressed SLAPPs and looks at trends during the 1970s-1990s. An excerpt of the book is available here. The full book can…
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SLAPPs: Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (1989)

September 01, 1989
The Pace Environmental Law Review published this article in 1989 by one of the two professors who coined the term “SLAPP.” This article analyzes the legal implications of SLAPPs, while a counterpart article by Penelope Canan examines SLAPPs from a sociological perspective.
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Texas: Don’t Let the Legislature Gut Your State’s Free Speech Laws

March 28, 2019
Tags: Anti-SLAPP Laws, EFF, Texas, Texas Citizens Participation Act
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) describes what is at stake if a Texas anti-SLAPP statute gets watered down. This article has been re-posted from EFF’s website.  TAKE ACTION: Tell Texas lawmakers not to throw out free speech protections. ————————– A bill is moving forward in… Read More
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The Dakota Access Pipeline Company Is Abusing the Judicial System to Silence Dissent

March 04, 2019
Tags: Dakota Access Pipeline, DAPL, Energy Transfer, Greenpeace, Krystal Two Bulls, North Dakota, RICO
The ACLU discusses how pipeline company Energy Transfer is abusing the judicial system in order to suppress the rights of activists. The article is available on the ACLU’s website and is re-posted here with permission. In a win for free speech, a federal court in North Dakota recently… Read More
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The First Annual SLAPP Awards 2018

February 25, 2019
Tags: awards, SLAPPies
Last year was a busy year for corporate bullies in the US. It seems nowadays that a corporation or high-ranking businessman can’t even engage in a light spot of environmental destruction, harassment, or treason without some pesky activist or journalist getting in the way. Corporate bullies have increasingly… Read More
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Why We Need Federal Legislation to Protect Public Speech Online

May 31, 2015
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published this report to build the case for anti-SLAPP legislation. The report analyzes the ways that SLAPPs have been used, as well as the harms caused by SLAPPs. The report also identifies key components of anti-SLAPP legislation.
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The Term “Eco-Terrorist” is Being Used to Harass Activists

January 03, 2019
Tags: BankTrack, Dakota Access Pipeline, EarthFirst, Energy Transfer, ETP, Greenpeace, Kasowitz, Krystal Two Bulls, Standing Rock
In an article for Grist, Justine Calma and Paola Rosa-Aquino discuss a 1990s tactic that is growing in popularity once again: labeling activists as “eco-terrorists.” Across the world, we are witnessing growing efforts by governments and corporations to silence environmental activists. According to Calma and Rosa-Aquino, “The consequences of… Read More
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Pipeline Protester Fights Back Against Corporation’s Sprawling, Outlandish Lawsuit

December 21, 2018
Tags: Energy Transfer, ETP, Indigenous, Kasowitz, RICO, Standing Rock
BISMARCK, ND — Krystal Two Bulls, an Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne U.S. army veteran and environmental and Indigenous rights activist, today urged a federal court to dismiss a racketeering lawsuit filed against her for her role in standing for land, water, and her People against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Read More
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The ‘Weed 9’ Rallies Against Corporate Water Grab and Legal Bullying

December 18, 2018
Tags: California, Civil Liberties Defense Center, CLDC, Defamation, First Amendment Project, Roseburg, Water, Weed
SPRINGFIELD, OREGON – Residents of Weed, California are rallying today outside the headquarters of Roseburg Forest Products to demand that the Springfield-based company cease its aggressive campaign to deprive them of their clean drinking water. Over 20 residents of Weed made the five hour journey to… Read More
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Activists Defeat SLAPP Brought By Company With White Supremacist Ties

December 04, 2018
On November 30, 2018, San Francisco’s Superior Court issued an order granting anonymous antifascists’ motion to quash a subpoena that sought to uncover the identities of the antifascists. Civil Liberties Defense Center attorney Cooper Brinson urged the court to uphold the First Amendment rights of the antifascists to engage in anonymous… Read More
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Facing a SLAPP Threat? Here are 10 Resources to Help You

November 21, 2018
Tags: Prevention
Our democracy depends on checks and balances – and those who work to expose the wrongdoing of America’s rich and powerful have a critical role to play. But this work is becoming increasingly risky:  community activists, civil society campaigners and journalists face the growing threat of retaliation for… Read More
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Energy Transfer Continues Aggressive Attempts to Silence Opposition: Greenpeace Report

October 18, 2018
Tags: Bayou Bridge, Energy Transfer, ETP, Greenpeace, Protest, RICO
WASHINGTON, DC, October 18, 2018 — A new Greenpeace USA report “Still Too Far: Energy Transfer Continues to Display Concerning Corporate Behavior” compiles recent evidence that the pipeline company is still aggressively trying to silence opposition to its pipelines across the United States, despite calls from communities, financial institutions,… Read More
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