Organizations across Canada and the U.S., including the David Suzuki Foundation, the Broadbent Institute, and Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, are calling on Resolute Forest Products to drop its multi-million-dollar lawsuits aimed at silencing Greenpeace and Stand.earth in a newspaper ad appearing in Le Devoir and The Ottawa Citizen.
The organizations are condemning Resolute's attack on public discourse, free speech, and the very heart of our democratic society.
“Now, more than ever, the world needs our watchdogs,” said Rick Smith, executive director of the Broadbent Institute.
“The right to speak, protest, and criticize is also the right to dream of a better world,” he noted.
“Don't let Resolute silence Greenpeace or Stand.earth. Don't let anyone silence our voices.”
Other notable voices also have come forward in the defence of free speech and forests.
More than 200 authors such as Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel, and Stephen Fry have signed a pledge with Greenpeace to support free speech and the right to speak up for forests.
On May 16, Greenpeace published a report exposing the threat posed by Resolute's various lawsuits to free speech and public advocacy more broadly.
The call to support freedom of speech and forest protection since has become global, with more than 400,000 people from around the world signing an appeal to publishers buying paper from Resolute.
These voices all are asking publishers to disavow the logging company's heavy-handed attempt to silence environmental organizations and intimidate individual activists who rightfully have criticized its unsustainable forestry practices.
“With these lawsuits, Resolute has set out to destroy an organization with over 45 years of history protecting the planet,” said Greenpeace Canada's executive director Joanna Kerr.
“But this is no longer about Greenpeace," she stressed. "It is about protecting the right of all Canadians to speak out on issues that matter, including the survival of critical ecosystems.”
“This lawsuit is nothing more than an attempt to silence Canadians who care about our forests,” echoed Karen Mahon of Stand.earth.
“It's time for the Resolute board of directors to insist that their CEO drop this intimidation lawsuit,” she said.