My latest article for VICE:
When 30,000 Ecuadorian villagers sued Chevron in 1993 for devastating the Amazon with 18 billion gallons of toxic wastewater, the US-based oil giant’s reply was simple: “We will fight [the lawsuit] until hell freezes over,” said a representative. “And then fight it out on the ice.”
After investigators documented what they call a “Rainforest Chernobyl”—17 million gallons of spilled crude oil, more than 1,000 open waste pits full of toxic waste polluting the drinking water, and thousands of victims of cancer and birth defects—it seemed justice was served for the villagers. In 2011, an Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron and demanded the company pay $19 billion in restitution. Ecuador’s Supreme Court later reduced the damages to $9.5 billion but upheld that ruling. [click to continue…]
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be the international keynote speaker for the 2014 Voiceless Animal Law Lecture Series. As you know, “ag-gag” laws are going global, and the factory farming industry in Australia is trying to model their legislation after what we’ve seen in states like Idaho. The focus of this lecture series couldn’t be more timely: “Ag-gag Laws: The Bid to Silence Animal Advocates.”
I’ll be visiting 12 venues throughout Australia, mainly universities and law schools. This will be the longest speaking tour I’ve ever done (over a month), and I can’t wait.
Here’s a bit more about the tour, and how to sign up! [click to continue…]
I was a guest on Al Jazeera recently to discuss how the War on Terrorism has been used to target protest groups and whistleblowers who expose animal cruelty on factory farms.
It was a pleasure being on the same show with Laura Beth Nielsen and Shiraz Maher, and connecting the dots between the civil rights abuses against Muslim communities and this crackdown on dissent.
From Al Jazeera:
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Idaho’s governor has signed a bill into law that makes it illegal for undercover investigators and whistleblowers to expose animal cruelty on factory farms and slaughterhouses.
The bill, SB1337, was backed by the state’s billion-dollar dairy industry after Mercy For Animals exposed dairy workers beating, kicking, and sexually abusing dairy cows. Under this new law, the whistleblowers who exposed the cruelty face criminal penalties worse than those who committed the abuse.
As I’ve reported previously, the bill is so broad and vague that it puts journalists at risk, and has been opposed by media outlets and journalism groups.