Lawsuit Against Greenpeace Threatens News Orgs, 1st Amendment

"A harrowing lawsuit poses a serious threat to the First Amendment and press freedom, but it isn’t coming from legal action against a newspaper. Instead, it originates from legal action against environmental advocacy organizations.

Last year, Greenpeace—along with countless other environmental and human rights groups—reported on and advocated against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline due to environmental and human and indigenous rights concerns. In response, a company behind DAPL, Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), is suing Greenpeace, along with small Dutch organization BankTrack.

The lawsuit also names Earth First!, which it calls a “radical eco-terrorist group.” But because Earth First! is not an organization but rather a environmental movement and idea, the legal complaint was mailed to small environmental news publication called Earth First! Journal.

Filed last August, the $900 million lawsuit accuses them of defamation and racketeering, and essentially calls them a criminal enterprise. On February 8, ETP filed its opposition memo to Greenpeace’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but the organizations continue to fight to have it dismissed."

Camille Fassett reports for the Freedom of the Press Foundation February 19, 2018.

Source: Freedom of Press Fdn., 02/21/2018