How SLAPPs Undermine Democracy: A Case Study of the USA

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.”

Free speech matters. Holt says, “Information is the very currency of democracy; without this free flow of ideas, democracy becomes an impoverished skeleton of the political ideal it represents.”

Holt also discusses the notorious case of Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline, as an example of how some corporations are using a variety of extreme measures to silence speech, including SLAPPs.