FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2:00 p.m. CT, July 26, 2018
Contact: Ed Fallon at (515) 238-6404 or [email protected]
BOLD IOWA RESPONDS TO JUDGE’S RULING ON “SLAPP” SUIT
Judge’s decision on one plaintiff likely to vindicate Bold Iowa, others as well
Des Moines, IA — US District Judge Billy Roy Wilson today dismissed criminal racketeering claims levied against BankTrack in a lawsuit filed last August by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). BankTrack is a nonprofit that encourages people to divest from financial institutions that provided funds for ETP and the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Greenpeace, Earth First!, Bold Iowa, and other organizations are also named in the lawsuit. The Court has yet to rule on other components of the lawsuit, but Bold Iowa director, Ed Fallon, believes Judge Wilson’s ruling vis-a-vis BankTrack bodes well for others named in the suit.
“We’ve known all along that this lawsuit is ETP’s desperate effort to silence public opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and other fossil-fuel expansion projects,” said Fallon. “The Court ruled strongly against ETP with regards BankTrack, and I expect the Court feels the same about Bold Iowa as well.”
In his ruling, Judge Wilson wrote, “While the complaint vaguely attempts to connect BankTrack to acts of ‘radical eco-terrorist,’ an international drug distribution and money laundering enterprise, and violations of the Patriot Act, BankTrack’s actual conduct in this case was allegedly writing a few letters to financial institutions and posting links to the letters on its website.”
Bold Iowa is mentioned frequently throughout ETP’s lawsuit, and three of Fallon’s blogs from his visit to Standing Rock are referenced on page 154. Bold Iowa’s Bold Action Teams also are discussed in Item 316 of the lawsuit.
“It’s encouraging to know that our efforts had an impact,” continued Fallon. “At the same time, any American who values freedom of speech and the right to assemble should find it chilling that a huge corporation with seemingly bottomless pockets can use its clout to try to silence dissent through the courts.”
Bold Iowa builds rural-urban coalitions to fight climate change, to prevent the abuse of eminent domain, to protect Iowa’s soil, air and water, and to promote non-industrial renewable energy.
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