|Freedom of expression under attack: Écosociété hit by a SLAPP |
Barrick Gold, the world largest gold mining company, launched a $6
millions lawsuit against Écosociété solely in order to crush them and
force them into bankruptcy. Following the publication of /Noir Canada.
Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique/, Barrick asked the small
non-profit Quebec publisher, and the authors of Noir Canada, $5
millions for compensatory psychological harms, as well as one million on
account of exemplary damages, which represents 25 times Écosociété
Noir Canada. Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afriquebrings together and analyses national and international documents already available to the public (reports, books, documentaries...), concerning various abuses from several Canadian companies working in Africa, in particular in the mining and oil areas. It also deals with the supports these corporations benefit on behalf of the Canadian government. The debate the book wishes to make public is all the more legitimate given that Canadians assets (retirement funds, RRSP, public funds) are often indirectly invested in these corporations through Toronto Stock Exchange.If there is a surplus in the legal defense fund, Écosociété will use it to help other SLAPP victims.
This strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a serious threat to the democratic principle of the informed citizen.