“If the Center for American Progress endorses blanket ecoterrorism, their many corporate donors need to know. At the very least, these very public enterprises should ask CAP to clearly define what is legitimate protest, what is civil disobedience, and what is ecoterrorism.” (post below)
In a racketeering case that could result in nearly a billion dollars in fines, the developer behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline has accused a handful of environmental groups of engaging in eco-terrorism during protests of the pipeline’s construction. The suit could have profound impacts on the future of environmental activism in the Trump-era and beyond.”
– Natasha Geiling, “Dakota Access Developer Calls Environmentalists ‘Terrorists’, Sues for at Least $300 Million,” Think Progress (Center for American Progress), August 23, 2017.
Back to Natasha Geiling’s whitewash.
“The company is represented by the law firm founded by President Trump’s personal attorney,” her subtitle reads. She quotes two (very scared) environmental groups who throw out extraneous arguments. From Climate Defense Project, described as “a non-profit environmental interest group not involved with the litigation:”
This suit is part of a rising tendency on the part of government and industry to demonize activists and to criminalize free speech activity. Fossil fuel companies know that they’re losing public support for their poisonous activities — and so label their opponents “terrorists” and seek gag orders in court.
The lawsuit is a sign of weakness on ETP’s part and proof that direct action works. Even if the company’s claims are ridiculously overblown, the pipeline company is acknowledging that protesters stand in the way of fossil fuel expansion and that it is possible to slow or stop environmental destruction, even without the help of a complicit government.
Except that a free society has laws against the destruction of property—and blatant harassment.
Geiling gives defendant Greenpeace a say:
It is yet another classic “Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation” (SLAPP), not designed to seek justice, but to silence free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation. This has now become a pattern of harassment by corporate bullies, with Trump’s attorneys leading the way.
Corporate Donors Beware
If the Center for American Progress endorses blanket ecoterrorism, their many corporate donors need to know. At the very least, these very public entities should ask CAP to clearly define what is legitimate protest, what is civil disobedience, and what is ecoterrorism.
Businesses—small and large, fossil fuel or not, manufacturing or retail— should expect CAP to condemn ecoterrorism hiding behind a green, public interest façade.
The Huffington Post, concerned about cronyism at CAP, provided this list of 2013 donors:
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP; The Albright Stonebridge Group; American Beverage Association; American Iron and Steel Institute; America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP); Apple Inc.; AT&T;
Bank of America; Blackstone; Blue Cross Blue Shield Association; Blue Engine Message & Media; Blue Shield of California; BMW of North America; CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield;
Citigroup; The Coca-Cola Company; Comcast NBCUniversal; Covanta Energy; CVS Caremark Inc.;
Daimler Monitor; Deloitte; DeVry Education Group; Dewey Square Group; Discovery; DISH Network; Downey, McGrath Group, Inc.; DRS Technologies;
Eli Lilly and Company; Facebook; Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas;
GE; Genworth Financial; The Glover Park Group LLC; Goldman Sachs; Google; Health Care Service Corporation
The Ickes and Enright Group; Japan Bank for International Cooperation; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts; Livingston Group
McLarty Associates; Microsoft Corporation; Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); MyWireless.org
Pearson; PepsiCo; PG&E Corporation; Quest Diagnostics;
Samsung; Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO); Tata Sons Limited; Time Warner Inc.; T-Mobile; Toyota Motor North America; Visa Inc.;
Walmart; Wells Fargo