The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
#NoDAPL Activists Face Continued Tactics to 'Silence Future Protests'
Dakota Access Pipeline owner Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) paid a private security firm to build a massive racketeering suit against green groups opposing the pipeline, three former employees confirmed to the Intercept this week.
Documents leaked to The Intercept in May reveal that ETP hired TigerSwan, which was originally founded as a State Department contractor working to "execute the war on terror," to conduct counterterrorism measures on activists, including aerial surveillance on protesters, infiltrating activist groups and developing "counter-information" campaigns.
ETP employed a law firm headed by Donald Trump's personal attorney to file a blanket lawsuit in August alleging "eco-terrorism" against Greenpeace, Earth First, and the divestment group BankTrack. The lawsuit used information specifically gathered by TigerSwan, the Intercept confirmed in its latest report.
As reported by The Intercept:
"The case was filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, passed in 1970 to prosecute organized crime—primarily the mob. Greenpeace says it amounts to a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, designed to curtail free speech through expensive, time-consuming litigation.
'It grossly distorts the law and facts at Standing Rock,' said Greenpeace general counsel Tom Wetterer. 'We'll win the lawsuit, but it's not really what this is about for ETP. What they're really trying to do is silence future protests and advocacy work against the company and other corporations.'"
The federal government is also continuing to chase down #NoDAPL protesters: the AP reported that a woman seriously injured at the protests last year is still under investigation by the FBI, who applied for a warrant to search her Facebook account.
For a deeper dive:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Eddie Ndopu
- South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
- Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
- The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.
A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.