For several years, stakeholders across Quebec and Ontario have appealed to Greenpeace to halt its misleading and irresponsible attacks on responsible forestry. Most of those good faith attempts have been ignored. But now that Resolute is holding Greenpeace accountable in court, it appears that the multi-national fundraising group is beginning to reflect on the consequences of its reckless behavior.
In a YouTube video with the odd title “Logging Company Want [sic] to Sue Greenpeace out of Existence,” the group complains about having to justify its years-long campaign of threats and falsehoods aimed at Resolute, our customers, and the communities where we live and work. Unsurprisingly, the video is riddled with misinformation and so we are going to set the record straight by taking a close look at the video script:
[Title Card]: Resolute Forest Products, Canada’s largest logging company, is trying to sue Greenpeace out of existence.
False. Resolute is holding Greenpeace and its allies accountable for the damage they have inflicted with their misrepresentations and false claims. Legal action followed multiple good-faith attempts to stop their inappropriate and irresponsible campaign.
Greenpeace has bragged publicly about the $100 million in damage they claim to have caused.”
[Text Card on Screen]: Responding to criticism, Resolute sued, claiming Greenpeace “is a global fraud” that is not “genuinely focused on the environment.”
Wrong again. Resolute’s suit is in response to Greenpeace’s threats, cyberattacks, intimidation of customers, destruction of jobs, harm to local communities and outright defamation.
ROLF SKAR: Last year we received notice that Resolute was filing a SLAPP suit against Greenpeace in the U.S. and Greenpeace International. It can be intimidating to be personally named in a fat lawsuit. You got piles of legal papers.
It’s actually a RICO suit.
ROLF SKAR: You wonder about ‘what’s this going to mean for me?’
For years, Greenpeace's actions have harmed countless communities throughout the boreal with zero regard for the livelihoods or dedication of ordinary people who call the forest home.
AMY MOAS: There was a knock at the door, I go and the process server hands me this chunk of paper here and it was the lawsuit and it was real at that moment.
It took a process server to make the damage Moas and her colleagues have caused real.
Thousands of citizens, community leaders, and First Nations have appealed to activist groups to stop their attacks… and sadly, they have been ignored.
SHANE MOFFATT: Resolute Forest Products sued me, Greenpeace Canada, and a colleague of mine, for seven million dollars four years ago.
Litigation that is still ongoing - Greenpeace has tried to delay the case repeatedly in order to avoid the discovery process. What are they afraid the courts will find?
AMY MOAS: I am a Greenpeace activist, but I’m also just an everyday, average mom.
There are thousands of average moms and dads who live and work in the Boreal. Don’t they have a say in what happens in their community? Any feelings about that?
SHANE MOFFATT: People often don’t realize that Greenpeace is all about solutions that deliver sustainable economies for local communities…
Solutions? It seems like their campaigns are about dangerous stunts and what they call “non-actionable rhetorical hyperbole.”
SHANE MOFFATT:… ensure that indigenous rights are being protected,
Is that why Greenpeace trespassed on the sacred Nazca lines in Peru, offending the country’s Indigenous Peoples, authorities and local communities?
ROLF SKAR: We start with our goal of zero deforestation and forest degradation. It is easy to see where they stuff has happened because of modern technology.
Less than 0.2% of Canada’s boreal forest is harvested each year. More than ten times less than the amount disturbed annually by natural causes such as forest fires, insects and disease.
Canada’s annual deforestation rate is close to zero, less than 0.02% – due mainly to other industrial activities, urban development, transportation, recreation and hydroelectricity.
AMY MOAS: Most of what I do works with companies and to make sure that the commodities that they buy, so stuff like pulp and paper and palm oil, are coming from really sustainable and responsible sources around the world.
That typically involves Moas and her colleagues making claims they admit don’t “hew to strict literalisms or scientific precision.” In recent court filings they’ve called their campaign more “figurative than literal.”
Greenpeace admits to using “rhetorical hyperbole” and “non-verifiable subjective opinion” to threaten companies with public disparagement campaigns and cyber harassment if they don’t comply with its demands.
AMY MOAS: And, Resolute Forest Products is one of the largest logging companies in North America. And so you can’t ignore the impact they’re having on the ground there.
Resolute’s track record on environmental stewardship has won North American and global recognition.
[Text Card on Screen] If Resolute wins these lawsuits, it would set a dangerous precedent letting more corporations silence their critics.
Free speech does not include libel and slander.
AMY MOAS: Calling us a criminal enterprise is so far from reality that it’s really hard to understand.
Take a closer look at our RICO complaint. It specifies how Greenpeace conspired to threaten Resolute and our customers with blatant fabrications.
SHANE MOFFAT: Why Resolute is such an important part of this story is because not only are they threatening the health of these forests for future generations, they’re also threatening the ability of the environmental movement as a whole to speak out, to criticize, and to shine a light on the practices that otherwise wouldn’t come to the public’s attention.
No one is being silenced. You’re speaking out right here in this video.
Citizens and companies have a right to respond, and Greenpeace should be held accountable under the law just like everybody else.