A new report has identified at least 150 activists that have been targeted by the fossil fuel industry for harassment. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio:             A new report’s identified at least 150 activists that have been targeted by fossil fuel industry types for harassment. Wow, SLAPP suits, talk about it.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. What’s happening here is that for many years you have these environmental activists, you know, they, they, they show up at the pipelines. They show up, you know, to, to protest at the offices, the refineries. So what the fossil fuel industry has been doing is saying, okay, you know what? Let’s sue the organizers. Let’s sue the people who show up at the barricades. Let’s make their lives a litigation nightmare. We know we’re not actually gonna win lawsuits. But what we do is we tie them up, you know, with these SLAPP suits, we make sure that they can’t get out there. They can’t do this. They’re gonna lose all their money from their organization by paying for lawyers. And it’s just a delay tactic to get these people off their backs. It’s truly disturbing because it does cost these people, you know, tens of thousands of dollars to fight these lawsuits coming from this industry that has endless money and can file as many suits as they want.

Mike Papantonio:             Well, that, here’s what they admit. They, they admit that it’s harassment.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             They admit that it, it’s a way they even talk about now it’s a way to make money. So because you got Greenpeace that’s worth, you know, multimillions of dollars. So they, they sue them and actually wanna get paid money from Greenpeace for Greenpeace trying to stop them from slaughtering whales all over the world or whatever it may be, or the fossil fuel drilling in our parks. But the SLAPP suits, it’s not just the SLAPP suits. They also use the power of subpoena, the use of depositions, every, every process in discovery that they can use to harass that person. They make telephone calls to universities if a professor’s involved, you gotta get rid of that professor. They, they, they make calls about people in their jobs. You might want to know that this person is doing this, making it sound like there’s really something nefarious going on. I mean, this is, these are tactics that, that you’d expect from ghouls. I mean.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah.

Mike Papantonio:             You know, CIA ghouls and that’s exactly what they’re up to. But it goes on and I, I don’t, I don’t think it’s gonna get any better. I don’t think that there’s, there’s been, there’s been a temp. You remember the Donziger case that we did?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah, absolutely.

Mike Papantonio:             Talk about that just a second.

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. Steven Donziger, who was the lawyer who took on Chevron down there in Ecuador, absolutely obliterating the environment, screwing people over, poisoning them, paying off the government. Donziger took ’em to trial, won. Chevron comes back, sues him, allege all, all of this misconduct, somehow wins. Gets Donziger thrown in prison.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  Stripped of his law license. It’s insane. But

Mike Papantonio:             Here, here again, that’s one of these stories that I talk about, the federal judges that are appointed. The judge that did that to Donziger has never known anything except representing corporation. The judge absolutely saw that Chevron had, had murdered, murdered entire families down there with toxins, wiped them out with leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, brain cancer, birth defects, wiped out entire families. And this judge, New York type, you know, appointed, it was a Clinton appointment. Had come through the corporate, had come through the corporate law firm process year after year, made big money representing corporations, never represented a consumer in his life. One of by the way, one of the, the worst federal judges we have sitting up there, Clinton appointment. But we talk about this all the time. How does this happen? It’s because the Democrats do the same thing the Republicans do. They go to these big silk stocking law firms that represent corporations and they put ’em in power. This, the Donziger, Steven Donziger case is good example of really our justice system totally upside down.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.