Mining giants bury Canadian critics with lawsuits


15 Responses to “Mining giants bury Canadian critics with lawsuits”

  1. Counterglow says:

    They should find a US publisher and then tell Barrick Gold and Banro Corporation to go f*ck themselves.

  2. Anonymous says:

    48 hours to save Canadian journalism!

  3. MrsBug says:

    When will corporations learn that trying to fight the truth is a losing battle? It always wins out somehow.

  4. johnofjack says:

    Have they never heard of the Streisand effect?

  5. Richard says:

    Canadian small publisher Talon Books cancelled a title by many of the same contributors as Noir Canada, due to a call from the lawyers at Barrick Gold.

    More information, and an audio clip of an interview with Talon can be found at the Arsenal Pulp blog Arsenalia (see link below.

  6. helleman says:

    your dad is awesome Cory! (just like mine)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Here is the link to sign up as a citizen:

    The one for academic professors is here:


  8. Anonymous says:

    SLAPP lawsuit is the end of regular (i.e. book, TV, newpaper) honest information on corporate.
    10 years of lawsuits has destroyed the journalist Denis Robert who exposed the Clearstream scandal in Europe, and muzzled its documentaries and books.
    in french
    Even if you win, you end up broken and your career is over.
    True info is now only from “Anonymous” hackers on Internet.

  9. alllie says:

    This is typical of Barrick.

    U.K. libel suit nearly silences investigative report, even in U.S.

    [In 2001] a Canadian firm managed to use British law to shut down part of a U.S.-based website. The suit, which pitted Barrick Gold and Goldstrike Mines against Guardian Newspapers UK, was brought over “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy,” a Nov. 26, 2000 column by Greg Palast which appeared in the Guardian’s Sunday publication, the Observer. In it, Palast looked at the links between several corporations and the Bush family.

    Palast pointed out:

    In the final days of the Bush (Senior) administration, the Interior Department made an extraordinary but little noticed change in procedures under the 1872 Mining Law, the gold rush–era act that permitted those whiskered small-time prospectors with their tin pans and mules to stake claims on their tiny plots. The department initiated an expedited procedure for mining companies that allowed Barrick to swiftly lay claim to the largest gold find in America. In the terminology of the law, Barrick could “perfect its patent” on the estimated $10 billion in ore—for which Barrick paid the U.S. Treasury a little under $10,000…

    Barrick saved—and the U.S. taxpayer lost—a cool billion or so. Upon taking office, Bill Clinton’s new interior secretary, Bruce Babbitt, called Barrick’s claim the “biggest gold heist since the days of Butch Cassidy.” Nevertheless, because the company followed the fast-track process laid out for them under Bush, this corporate Goldfinger had Babbitt by the legal nuggets. Clinton had no choice but to give them the gold mine while the public got the shaft.

    Barrick sued to silence Palast and have the article removed from the Observer. So this is their typical use of libel law to bury their critics. It’s worked for them in the past. This time they don’t have the law on their side so will beat the journalist to death with money.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The links above (pledged their support, Citizen Petition) are broken.

  11. DarthVain says:

    Well I can’t see how they can prevent you from publishing. Some houses might be skittish of this sort of thing, but that is ultimately their decision. If they don’t want important journalism then that is there loss. If you are critical of some mega corporation I think it goes without saying that you should be prepared for litigation. Yes it could take years, yes it could take a long time. However if it is libel they are suing you about then they have to prove it. If you have done a good job, you will have all your sources ready. If you don’t want to give out you sources, you may be in a bit of a bind. So if I was a publisher, and you wrote a piece about some big corporation and how evil they are, but refuse to give sources, then ya, I might not publish you either. As much as you have a legal right to freedom of expression and all that, others have legal rights as well that have to be respected. That is where the court comes in.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The links to the petitions are not working properly

  13. djfatsostupid says:

    This is commonly referred to as a SLAPP lawsuit (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation). I’ve mostly heard about them being used by property developers to stop community groups from opposing projects, but I guess you can shut nearly anyone up if you can pay the lawyers.

    My understanding is that people are thinking of options to stop this kind of thing, but it’s actually pretty hard to do. Crafting a law that weeds out these sorts of strategic lawsuits without stopping legitimate ones is challenging. Still, I hope to see some legal changes around this in the next few years (the law is slow).

    • insert says:

      Right, but too few jurisdictions have anti-SLAPP statutes that forbid lawsuits filed to win not on merits but to force opponents into giving in based on costs. And unfortunately, it’s the multinational corporations that can go forum-shopping to find jurisdictions without anti-SLAPP laws.

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