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This article is co-authored by Ben Jealous

One of our most important rights as Americans is the freedom to express ourselves. This takes the form of voting, it takes the form of activism, and it takes the form of our First Amendment right to free speech.

This summer, the 9th Circuit Court in California is weighing the question of whether companies have the right to take preemptive legal action against peaceful protesters for hypothetical future protests. This will be an extraordinary decision that could have a significant impact on every American’s First Amendment rights.

The case, Shell Offshore Inc. vs. Greenpeace, was filed by Shell Oil Company. Last summer, Shell assumed –based on conjecture — that Greenpeace USA would protest the company’s drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.  Shell asked the 9th Circuit court for a preemptive injunction and restraining order against Greenpeace USA [Full disclosure: Philip Radford is the executive director of Greenpeace USA].

Despite Greenpeace’s appeal, the court granted the injunction for the entire duration of the drilling period, a decision which effectively gave a federal blessing to the company’s wish to do its controversial work in secret.

Greenpeace has asked the court for a full review, and this summer, the court will decide the ultimate fate of the case.

If the court rules in Shell’s favor, it would have a profound chilling effect on First Amendment rights across the country. Nothing would stop other corporations from taking similar preemptive legal action against anyone they deem to be likely protesters. That could be an environmental group, it could be a civil rights group, or it could be a Tea Party group — or anyone in between.

Even if the most frivolous of these suits were eventually overturned on appeal, it would still set a dangerous precedent. Anyone who wants to silence a protest outside a convention, a disaster site, or any political space would have legal precedent to do so for as long as their lawyers could keep the case in court.

This case isn’t just about the fate of the Arctic. It is about the state of our democracy.

Entrenched power, whether corporate or governmental, wants to keep things just the way they are. For generations, ordinary people of social conscience who see injustice in the status quo have exercised their First Amendment rights in order to make the changes necessary for progress.

It isn’t always easy.

In 1965, after years of dedication to the Civil Rights Movement, Julian Bond was one of the first African-Americans since Reconstruction elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Even though Bond won his election fairly and took a legally binding oath of office, his colleagues voted to deny him his right to speak in the Assembly. Despite the clear racial motivations, Bond was undaunted. He filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the Georgia House had violated his First Amendment rights, and the case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. Bond’s right to speak was ultimately upheld.

In his decision, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote that the case was central to the function of the First Amendment. Warren wrote:

"Just as erroneous statements must be protected to give freedom of expression the breathing space it needs to survive, so statements criticizing public policy and the implementation of it must be similarly protected."
As Bond and Chief Justice Warren recognized, the right to protest is a foundational American right. In fact, this tradition, forged by Henry David Thoreau, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and countless others, is the only thing that puts the power of the people on any kind of scale relative to the power of multibillion dollar corporations or entrenched government power.

Our power as citizens lies in our ability and willingness to protest.  Without the right to speak and protest, the civil rights, environmental, and other movements would never have accomplished the great things we have. Right now Shell is trying to set a precedent to restrict Americans’ First Amendment rights. If they succeed, it will have a devastating and chilling effect on our democracy.

Ben Jealous is the CEO of the NAACP.

Philip Radford is the executive director of Greenpeace USA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (270+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobswern, Pakalolo, FishOutofWater, janis b, wayoutinthestix, OldDragon, Just Bob, cotterperson, WheninRome, palantir, k9disc, indycam, greenbastard, valadon, beach babe in fl, Crabby Abbey, LillithMc, Onomastic, semiot, Edge PA, Carol in San Antonio, detroitmechworks, triv33, MrJayTee, jfromga, maryabein, Glen The Plumber, karmsy, DawnN, asym, poliwrangler, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Mac in Maine, DrCoyle65, susakinovember, DRo, fugwb, GeorgeXVIII, 420 forever, Shockwave, jbob, Gooserock, gustynpip, TracieLynn, 4CasandChlo, bronte17, profh, eeff, milkbone, ask, surfbird007, RLMiller, Powered Grace, YucatanMan, lunachickie, Einsteinia, No one gets out alive, Dartagnan, blackjackal, enhydra lutris, TokenLiberal, viral, nailbender, TarheelDem, mamabigdog, emmasnacker, Burned, socal altvibe, Paul Ferguson, where4art, SCFrog, gloriana, blueoasis, temptxan, anyname, TomP, Laurel in CA, slowbutsure, Sun Tzu, blueoregon, Throw The Bums Out, shopkeeper, shanikka, sailmaker, GrannyOPhilly, sunny skies, also mom of 5, marina, Sandino, badger, Simplify, cocinero, fixxit, citisven, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, run around, Damnit Janet, wxorknot, rogeopa, old wobbly, MKinTN, Russ Jarmusch, pat bunny, Norm in Chicago, skyounkin, DeminNewJ, Wino, Habitat Vic, SanFernandoValleyMom, barkingcat, HoundDog, NoMoreLies, fiddlingnero, Wisdumb, Gowrie Gal, camlbacker, marleycat, praenomen, shortgirl, gypsytoo, ewmorr, livingthedream, trumpeter, willyr, Sychotic1, tgrshark13, ColoTim, JDWolverton, We Won, 3goldens, bythesea, wader, science nerd, NYmom, Lefty Coaster, solesse413, Winter Rabbit, wasatch, ranger995, Skennet Boch, SeaTurtle, renzo capetti, sillia, chira2, Mosquito Pilot, Siri, riverlover, dansk47, Involuntary Exile, Catkin, zerone, LaughingPlanet, divineorder, sow hat, ninkasi23, Bernie68, Teiresias70, muddy boots, raptavio, jnhobbs, Tinfoil Hat, a2nite, RJP9999, Clytemnestra, peacestpete, IL clb, sceptical observer, stlsophos, TealTerror, Buckeye Nut Schell, petulans, Rosaura, gulfgal98, Nicci August, freesia, ladybug53, jack 1966, OutcastsAndCastoffs, p gorden lippy, oceanview, Wolf10, Dem Beans, Williston Barrett, hubcap, native, Kombema, jacey, shaharazade, countwebb, monkeybrainpolitics, codairem, dewtx, Alumbrados, Spirit of Life, OLinda, devis1, catilinus, northsylvania, sammytrin, markthshark, 1BQ, One Pissed Off Liberal, SoonerG, zerelda, Laughing Vergil, Ginny in CO, NonnyO, StrayCat, Wonton Tom, on the cusp, cynndara, Brian82, Words In Action, samanthab, xynz, samddobermann, Mentatmark, pickandshovel, BlueMississippi, madgranny, JayC, ceebee7, glitterscale, flavor411, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Panacea Paola, Karl Rover, Al Fondy, Debs2, boran2, TexDem, CA Nana, armadillo, psnyder, Lujane, third Party please, alasmoses, leonard145b, jamess, Robynhood too, eyesoars, OldSoldier99, KenBee, chimene, peptabysmal, buckstop, linkage, cosette, George3, deben, ChuckInReno, pixxer, martini, quagmiremonkey, melo, Nebraskablue, Jeff Y, Bluesee, Miss Jones, Winston Sm1th, LaFeminista, citylights, BvueDem, rapala, drofx, ExpatGirl, splashy, PDiddie, JekyllnHyde, Oh Mary Oh
  •  Darkly ironic. Arctic damage is irreparable. (106+ / 0-)

    Our laws are so heavily stacked against the environment that I fear for our survival.

    The panel affirmed the district court’s conclusion that Greenpeace USA was the proper entity to enjoin. The panel also affirmed the district court’s conclusions that Shell had shown (1) a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim that Greenpeace USA would commit tortious or illegal acts against the Arctic drilling operation absent an injunction and (2) that the resulting harm would be irreparable.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:32:25 AM PDT

    •  yeah (27+ / 0-)

      because any interference in the extremely dangerous conditions of the arctic ocean are per se, without need to examine, worthy of injunction.  But when the shoe is on the other foot, what these companies do with their drilling is so safe, it doesn't need examination. And of course, even the evidence cited by the court of past actions of other Greenpeace groups was not based on harm to any person, significant property damage, no ships were blown up or sunk.  To the extent there were delays, etc., that is a money damages questions, not a question of irreparable harm in equity.

      And to enjoin Greenpeace USA based on the actions of foreign entitites,  another interesting stretch.    And claiming that there was no sworn statement about their actions,  'peacefully' in the law means without force.   All criminal acts are in violation of the peace.  

      I agree with the dissent.

    •  Most of Us. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      Ownership will flourish forever.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:27:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Important toughts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater

      and crucial information on a dialogue that needs much greater attention.

      Thank you .

    •  Adaptation of species (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp, Words In Action

      Darwin would be astonished to see that climate change is going to affect not only animals and plants..., but people, too.  It's not enough that Monsanto and other corporations who control seed for our food supplies are altering the DNA structure of the plants which affects the animals and humans that eat those plants.  Now humans have to cope with adapting to climate change.  [I wonder which fear meme our "elected leaders" will come up with to scare us into complying with whatever they dream up - aside from war, that is?]

      Any such thing as R&D for alternative energy sources, manufacturing of wind turbines and/or solar panels, and installation of same, is only marginally mentioned, if at all, in Moronic Media.  The concentration of the attention is lies to make war on countries who control oil and gas, or who have areas oil corporations want to run pipelines through to port cities so they can export oil more efficiently ("we are there to help stabilize the region" - something even Hillary advocated in the kerfluffle over Bengaaaaazzzi when she mentioned the US should send aid to African nations to "protect American interests" in those countries - translate: protect US oil corporations' equipment).  Add to, fix, or otherwise care for our crumbling energy infrastructure?  Force manufacturers to install or build plants that do not produce so much in CO2?  Not so much.

      Climate talk shifts from curbing CO2 to adapting
      WASHINGTON (AP) — Efforts to curb global warming have quietly shifted as greenhouse gases inexorably rise.

      The conversation is no longer solely about how to save the planet by cutting carbon emissions. It's becoming more about how to save ourselves from the warming planet's wild weather.
      ~~~~~
      After years of losing the fight against rising global emissions of heat-trapping gases, governments around the world are emphasizing what a U.N. Foundation scientific report calls "managing the unavoidable."

      It's called adaptation and it's about as sexy but as necessary as insurance, experts say.

      It's also a message that once was taboo among climate activists such as former Vice President Al Gore.

      In his 1992 book "Earth in the Balance," Gore compared talk of adapting to climate change to laziness that would distract from necessary efforts.

      But in his 2013 book "The Future," Gore writes bluntly: "I was wrong." He talks about how coping with rising seas and temperatures is just as important as trying to prevent global warming by cutting emissions.

      Like Gore, governmental officials across the globe aren't saying everyone should just give up on efforts to reduce pollution. They're saying that as they work on curbing carbon, they also have to deal with a reality that's already here.

      In March, President Barack Obama's science advisers sent him a list of recommendations on climate change. No. 1 on the list: "Focus on national preparedness for climate change."

      "Whether you believe climate change is real or not is beside the point," New York's Bloomberg said in announcing his $20 billion adaptation plans. "The bottom line is: We can't run the risk."
      [More at link.]

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:35:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and read this book: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DanC, psnyder

      The Elementals by Morgan Llywelyn.

      What happens after we humans have killed earth by over-pollution, etc., and a few humans are still left alive?

      The book was originally marketed as a fantasy, but it doesn't sound so fantastical now.

      I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

      by NonnyO on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:06:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The New Normal: State-sanctioned oppression... (61+ / 0-)

    ...on behalf of the corporatocracy (see: "Fusion Centers") of free speech and the right to non-violent protest by its citizens. Protest against "Big Energy"--or even receive a misdialed call or misdirected email from a protestor--and you will find yourself on government lists alongside some of the most violent terrorists of our era.

    OWS was just the continuation of a trend. One that's getting uglier by the minute.

    These are all easily-referenced facts, as much as many in even this community would like to posit otherwise.

    (NOTE: This IS a hyperbole-free comment!)

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:34:51 AM PDT

  •  This seems to me to be a misstatement (33+ / 0-)

    of what the court is considering.  Here's what the diary says:  

    The case, Shell Offshore Inc. vs. Greenpeace, was filed by Shell Oil Company. Last summer, Shell assumed –based on conjecture — that Greenpeace USA would protest the company’s drilling in the Alaskan Arctic.  Shell asked the 9th Circuit court for a preemptive injunction and restraining order against Greenpeace USA [Full disclosure: Philip Radford is the executive director of Greenpeace USA].

    Despite Greenpeace’s appeal, the court granted the injunction for the entire duration of the drilling period, a decision which effectively gave a federal blessing to the company’s wish to do its controversial work in secret.

    When I read that, I was appropriately outraged -- how can a party get an injunction to prevent a group from "protesting"?  After all, we all have a right to protest whatever we want, as long as we are on public property and obey regular time, place and manner laws.

    I couldn't imagine how a Court justified an injunction against "protestsing." So, I decided to look at the link in the diary, and I found this in the first paragraph:

    The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction, which prohibited Greenpeace USA from coming within a specified distance of vessels involved in an oil company’s exploration of its Arctic Outer Continental Shelf leases and from committing various unlawful and tortious acts against those vessels as they journeyed from shore-based facilities in the United States, through United States territorial waters, and into the waters of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, where rigs attach to the Arctic seabed and conduct exploration activities.
    And the opinion goes on to identify the kind of activity being enjoined:  
    But “stop Shell” is not merely a campaign of words and images. Greenpeace USA also uses so-called “direct actions” to achieve its goals, and its general counsel has conceded that direct action can include illegal activity. There is evidence  that Greenpeace USA and its counterparts around the globe  are united in the goal of stopping Shell. When Greenpeace activists forcibly boarded an oil rig off the coast of Greenland in 2010 and used their bodies to impede a drilling operation, Greenpeace USA’s executive director described their conduct as “bold non-violent direct action” by “our activists.”

    Greenpeace USA similarly endorsed the forcible boarding of a Shell vessel by Greenpeace New Zealand activists in
    February 2012, again referring to them as “our brave activists.”

    The record before the district court contained evidence
    that Greenpeace activists used illegal “direct action” to
    interfere with legal oil drilling activities on many such
    occasions. Several incidents involved Shell vessels that were subsequently named in the district court’s preliminary injunction order and used in Shell’s 2012 Arctic OCS drilling operation.

    The opinion goes on to list other things that happened, including boarding vessels and stopping operations.  It is very clear that it is this activity -- forcible boarding of vessels and interfering with operations -- that is the subject of the injunction, not, as the diary says, "protests."  

    The First Amendment does not give anyone a right to "commit unlawful and tortious acts" against the property of another.  It seems to me that this is not an injunction against "protesting."  

    If this really were an injunction against "protesting," I'd be behind you 100%, as I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment.

    •  Thanks so much for that, coffeetalk. (13+ / 0-)

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Onomastic on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:53:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's too bad the diarist chose to chum (10+ / 0-)

      DK waters rather than discuss actual issues.

      "We're now in one of those periods when the reality of intense pressure on the middle class diverges from long-held assumptions of how the American bargain should work" --James Fallows

      by Inland on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:22:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks coffeetalk - I knew there was more (9+ / 0-)

      to the decision but hadn't yet looked deeper. My first thought was that there was a safety issue that was likely part of the case. I had no idea that GreenPeace was actually boarding Shell ships and oil rigs. That's a criminal act, not protesting.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:57:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So now you're against any illegal protest (4+ / 0-)

        and civil disobedience is bad too.

        Good to know.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:01:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not against civil disobedience (8+ / 0-)

          But those who engage in it know they are flouting the law and they accept the consequences for it.

          Resisting Shell is great, but why would anyone be surprised that blocking their vessels will lead to arrests?

          •  This isn't about leading to arrests (10+ / 0-)

            The protest is already illegal and they are already risking arrest. I don't see how making it more illegal is a good thing. This ruling could totally be used to restrain civil disobedience prior to it being used. Something similar was used against people blockading Keystone XL, although in that case the organization involved was sued for damages and then backed off out of necessity after making a deal. I don't know that this diary really explains the problem very well.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:21:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I get the Minority Report Pre-Crime Overtones (7+ / 0-)

              Getting a pre-emptive restraining order against illegal acts is somewhat frightening.  And I see that there is concern that it could spill over soon into restraining orders against arguably legal acts.

              I guess I'm more alarmed by abuses like the caged "free speech zones" at the political conventions of the past, the non-disclosure agreements virtually all companies force employees to sign, the corporatization of the media, the resounding media silence when the 2000 election was stolen and the farcical Iraq WMD claims were so shamefully staged. . .

              It's a long list.  But you are so right that we are not a culture that engages in robust free speech that (a) describes reality and (b) submits reality to the scrutiny of basic critical reason.

              We're awash in oligarchic fluff jobs and silly info-tainment.  It ain't pretty.

        •  The purpose of civil disobedience is (5+ / 0-)

          DISOBEDIENCE.  You're not disobeying anything if there are no consequences or punishments.  

          It seems absurd to me to say that you want to engage in civil disobedience but don't want to suffer the consequences of disobeying.  The power of disobedience is its illegality.  

        •  AoT - the difference between trespasing (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster, nextstep, ban nock

          on land and boarding ships and oil rigs out in the open seas is that actions in the open sea put the employees of Shell in danger. I am not against civil disobedience, or even illegal protests, but those participating should be prepared to go to jail. If the protest causes property damage those responsible should also be liable for the cost of repairs.

          There are lots of ways to protest without breaking the law.  

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:47:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This isn't only about the safety issue (6+ / 0-)

            and the case wasn't decided on the safety issue. This is applicable to other situations, and an injunction has been filed against some Keystone XL protesters as well on similar ground.

            I am not against civil disobedience, or even illegal protests, but those participating should be prepared to go to jail. If the protest causes property damage those responsible should also be liable for the cost of repairs.
            And they are liable for arrest and for damages already. This doesn't change any of that.

            This ruling could have been used as a prior restraint to the segregated lunch counter sit ins.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:12:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This IS about the safety issue. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, samddobermann, CalGal47, murrayewv

              The only way you can get an injunction is to show the potential for irreparable harm - that if you wait and sue, dollars won't be an adequate remedy.  In order to issue the injunction, the Court had to specifically find that there was, in this case, the potential for irreparable harm.

              The Court's finding on irreparable harm is about the safety issue:

              2. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm

              The district court concluded that Shell demonstrated a
              likelihood of irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because “illegal or tortious efforts to board or interfere with [its] vessels would be likely to present unacceptable risks to human life, property and the environment.” Shell Offshore, 864 F. Supp. 2d at 851 (internal quotation marks omitted). In  support of these findings, the court considered evidence that actions of the sort undertaken by Greenpeace activists against Shell vessels in New Zealand, Finland, and Greenland pose risks to the safetyof activists and vessel occupants alike. The court also found – and Greenpeace USA does not dispute – that “if Greenpeace USA successfully disrupted Shell’s operation, calculating the amount of economic harm would be very difficult.” Id.
              Greenpeace USA offers nothing beyond conclusory
              statements and case summaries in support of its one-sentence argument that the “likelihood of future injury is speculative and cannot be based on matters that occurred in 1997, or that 8 involved entities that are not Greenpeace USA.” The record provides ample support for the conclusion that Greenpeace USA has either undertaken directly, or embraced as its own, tactics that include forcible e boarding of vessels at sea and the use of human beings as impediments to drilling operations. We find  it too plain for debate that such tactics at minimum pose a serious risk of harm to human life, particularly if attempted in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, and that such harm could find no adequate remedy at law.

              •  It is not only about the (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action, FishOutofWater

                safety issue. Otherwise they wouldn't be using the tactic elsewhere.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:57:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Obviously, you are ignoring the law. (5+ / 0-)

                  You can't get an injunction without a showing of the potential for irreparable harm.  That's black letter law.  Period.  End of story.  

                  A lot of the oil and gas industry is inherently dangerous.  Oil and gas can easily blow up and burn.  That's the nature of the beast.  That means that if people who don't know what they are doing start messing with it, the chances of it blowing up increase.  That's true even on land.  It's doubly true in the middle of the ocean.  

                  •  In other words (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Words In Action

                    they are using this across the industry, like I said. So it's rather convenient that it's "about the safety" of a business that's in the business of killing us all.

                    If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                    by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:10:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, not "across the industry." (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      VClib, 1BQ, CalGal47

                      If you want to protest outside a refinery, that's not an "irreparable harm" situation.  If you want to protest outside of Shell's offices, that's not an irreparable harm situation.  That's protest.  That's what I thought this diary was about.  Instead, when I read the opinion, it was about people forcing their way onto vessels and rigs putting the lives and safety of the workers on those vessels and rigs in danger.  

                      It's when people who don't know what they are doing try to forcibly take physical take control of things -- like vessels, rigs, or pipelines -- that are inherently dangerous that you get into the irreparable harm area.

                      •  Yeah, and neither of those will do anything (3+ / 0-)

                        You want us to keep taking actions that have proven useless again and again. I'm sick of the constant refrain of "it's illegal" when anyone hits on an effective tactic. This issue is kind of fucking important. How old are you? I'm going to have to deal with this personally, as will my nieces and nephews even more so. But no one should take any effective action, god forbid. Just march in circles again and again so everyone can tell us how useless protest is.

                        Don't worry, they'll figure out away to abuse this ruling too. The rule of law is for little people, didn't you hear.

                        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                        by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:21:27 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  So the only "effective action" is to put people's (6+ / 0-)

                          lives and safety in danger?  It's worth risking the lives and safety of the people who work on those rigs and vessels for you to make a point -- and you can't make that point any other way?

                          I am NOT telling anybody not to protest.  I fully support the right of everyone to protest.  I AM saying that protesting is completely different from deliberately putting the lives and safety of ordinary, working people (the workers on those vessels and rigs) in danger so that you can make a point.

                          •  None of this is to "make a point" (4+ / 0-)

                            It's to stop the actions that are killing the planet. And of course you aren't telling anyone not to protest, you're just saying that any direct action against building pipelines or other carbon extraction infrastructure will risk lives and so we should march around in circles or go get arrested in some useless show in front of the white house.

                            And you aren't really saying any of that. So I'm sorry for aiming all of this at you because I don't mean to make it personal. But that's how the system works now. No one actually does anything they can be blamed for and it just keeps getting worse and more of us are going to be killed because of it. We've built a giant edifice devoted to removing the personal responsibility of those who are destroying our world and then telling people who are trying to stop it that they are going to hurt people when they take effective action.

                            And we do the same thing with the economy.

                            Sigh.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:43:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  All the yawners work for the plutocracy for (3+ / 0-)

          which they stand, whether they get paid for it or not.

          Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

          by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:38:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, that is the line these folks are taking (0+ / 0-)

          Apparently they are not happy with civil disobedience. I guess they love the status quo so much they want to defend it to the end.

          American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

          by glitterscale on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:47:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not exactly. The injunction (17+ / 0-)
      barred Greenpeace from:
      a. Breaking into or trespassing on [specified] vessels;
      b. Tortiously or illegally interfering with the
      operation, movement or progress of [specified]
      vessels;
      c. Barricading, blocking, or preventing access to or
      egress from [specified] vessels;
      d. Tortiously or illegally endangering or threatening
      any employee, contractor or visitor of Shell or any
      of its affiliates who is present on, or as they enter
      or exit, [specified] vessels
      Wouldn't B encompass any activity that could be construed to interfere with the "progress" or "operation" of the specified ships, e.g., protests at the company's  headquarters that kept their people from going to work?

      Wouldn't "C" be a subjective opinion (e.g, "I feel threatened!") subject to just about any type of behavior the protesters could come up with? And if it needs to be "tortious," how can a protester be guided by what is  or is not tortious, if it's undefined?

      In other words, is an injunction against "tortious interference" with business or "tortious endangerment or threatening" appropriate where the tort is undefined and hasn't even occurred?

      •  Correct. (5+ / 0-)

        The norm for tortious acts is that offenders are sued.

        Preventive arrest is normally done only for criminal acts.

        This ruling turns that on its head.

        Further, it's completely one-sided. The flip would be preventive arrests of Shell executives, to prevent them from polluting the Arctic. We all know how likely that is.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:12:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. Read the opinion. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, CalGal47

          The reason these illegal and tortious acts merited an injunction was because of irreparable harm -- someone could be hurt or killed as a result of people forcing their way onto these vessels or rigs, and that is what can't be adequately compensated with money. In order to get an injunction, you have to show a likelihood of irreparable harm of the other side does the illegal or tortious thing.  Here's what the Court said:  

          2. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm

          The district court concluded that Shell demonstrated a
          likelihood of irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because “illegal or tortious efforts to board or interfere with [its] vessels would be likely to present unacceptable risks to human life, property and the environment.” Shell Offshore, 864 F. Supp. 2d at 851 (internal quotation marks omitted). In  support of these findings, the court considered evidence that actions of the sort undertaken by Greenpeace activists against Shell vessels in New Zealand, Finland, and Greenland pose risks to the safetyof activists and vessel occupants alike. The court also found – and Greenpeace USA does not dispute – that “if Greenpeace USA successfully disrupted Shell’s operation, calculating the amount of economic harm would be very difficult.” Id.
          Greenpeace USA offers nothing beyond conclusory
          statements and case summaries in support of its one-sentence argument that the “likelihood of future injury is speculative and cannot be based on matters that occurred in 1997, or that 8 involved entities that are not Greenpeace USA.” The record provides ample support for the conclusion that Greenpeace USA has either undertaken directly, or embraced as its own, tactics that include forcible e boarding of vessels at sea and the use of human beings as impediments to drilling operations. We find  it too plain for debate that such tactics at minimum pose a serious risk of harm to human life, particularly if attempted in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, and that such harm could find no adequate remedy at law.

          •  As if there's no likelihood of harm by the (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            samanthab, burlydee, KenBee, Tonedevil

            Rigs and the vessels and the oil on people or the planet.

            This is the sick and twisted thinking of people who work so closely in establishment circles that they are compromised both not being able or inclined to see the lunacy of these situations.

            Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

            by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:49:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hilarious. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tonedevil

            Show me an injunction against Shell destroying the planet, they maybe you've got half an argument.

            "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

            by nosleep4u on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 01:54:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  greenpeace never committed the acts attributed to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfromga, Words In Action

      them in them, and yet are being moved to free speech zones. Yeah,that's not right.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by greenbastard on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:14:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with the dissent (12+ / 0-)

      Shell did not show that Greenpeace USA was likely to commit illegal acts in the future.  The court imputed the actions of independent organizations to Greenpeace USA.  I've never seen a court do that before.  There is just not a strong basis for a preliminary injunction here.  The fact that other Greenpeace organizations have interrupted Shell operations before and that the stated goal of Greenpeace USA is to stop Shell Artic drilling doesn't give rise to the basis for a preliminary injunction.

      Plus all the acts Greenpeace USA is accused of engaging in the future are already illegal.  I just don't see a necessary basis for relief here.  

    •  Heh (12+ / 0-)

      Big Oil gets to destroy entire ecosystems and the lives of millions of humans, but that's okay.

      Just don't anyone dare to peacefully try and stop them. That's a CRIME!

    •  So they are getting an injunction (9+ / 0-)

      to stop an illegal protest from happening?

      How does that work? It's already illegal. Is it like, double-plus illegal now?

      And something being illegal doesn't make it not a protest. If this were around in the fifties and sixties it could have been used to stop the lunch counter sit ins. Breaking the law as part of a protest have a long tradition in the US.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:59:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disobeying a court order can be punished (6+ / 0-)

        by contempt.  It's a stronger punishment than just waiting for them to break the law and then pursuing criminal/civil action against them.  

        •  To clarify...without an injunction, protestors (12+ / 0-)

          can go ahead and board the ships/destroy property/whatever and then try to defend in court (either criminal or civil).  They can try and defend on the merits (we didn't do it/it wasn't illegal if we did) or try and defend as a matter of law (the First Amendment protects boarding Shell's ships forcibly).  

          The same is not true of disobeying an injunction.  Disobeying a court order can be punished by contempt, even if enjoined conduct, upon closer review, was actually lawful.  You can't be punished for the conduct itself, but you can be punished for disobeying the injunction.  The enjoined party can, of course, appeal the issuance of the injunction.  

          The thought behind an injunction is that, for whatever reason, you're likely to suffer some harm that cannot be redressed in the typical way.  Say my neighbor keeps trying to say a part of my property really belongs to him - he's saying the dividing line is 20 feet over.  If I have a 200 year old redwood in that disputed zone, I can get an injunction to keep him from chopping it down.  The idea is if he goes ahead and destroys the tree, that can't be undone - there's no way I'm getting my tree back and it's difficult to really compensate me for my injury.  He can go ahead and try and show that it's really HIS property, but if he cuts down the tree in the meantime, he can be held in contempt, even if at the end of the day it turns out the tree really was on his property.  

          •  Thanks for the longer explanation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shaharazade, Words In Action

            In practical terms this means more jail time or a larger fine as well as a chance of getting arrested before anything even happens.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:47:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well...not quite. It does mean more jail time, (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster, ban nock, VClib

              potentially.  It doesn't mean getting arrested before anything happens...I'm not sure what you mean by that?

              •  Well, they have a stay away order and (4+ / 0-)

                if they get to close they can be arrested, no?

                From the ruling

                The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary
                injunction, which prohibited Greenpeace USA from coming
                within a specified distance of vessels
                Unless I'm misreading it that means that they are barred from getting too close to the vessel and face arrest if they do. So it's more than barring them from various illegal acts, it makes it an arrestable offence to get close to the ship, that's the equivalent of making it illegal for a specific group to come near a place they want to protest. So similar reasoning could be used to preempt planned civil disobedience. This has already in the courts in the case of civil disobedience against Keystone XL. I won't be surprised if this ruling, if it stands, is used as precedent in that case.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:01:40 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ok, I understand what you mean. They can be (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, VClib, burlydee, samddobermann

                  arrested for violating the injunction, even if they haven't actually boarded the ship yet or whatever.  

                •  No one gets arrested for violating an injunction (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  samddobermann, CalGal47

                  It's a civil, not a criminal matter.

                  If Shell thinks GP USA is in violation of the order, it's got to go back to Court on a Motion to Show Cause, which gives GP the opportunity to come in and explain why they're not in violation.  The judge then rules on the motion; if Shell "wins," then GP would be held in contempt.  Contempt could include incarceration, but that's incredibly rare.  And it would happen in the courtroom; no one is ever going to go out and arrest protesters on the scene using an injunction as the authority to so do.  That's not reality.

                  Note also that GP, which is a corporate entity, is the party that's enjoined.  What the Shell lawyers will do if they're smart is find the actual individuals who they think are likely to engage in the enjoined activities and give them actual notice of the injunction.  They need to do this to bind those folks -- the direct action protesters -- to the terms of the injunction.  They'll pass that Court order out like candy at Halloween, and you can bet that the Order is posted all over their docks and other facilities where they're operating that drilling project from.

                  The reason you're seeing this tactic here and in the KXL operation is because it's incredibly effective.  Getting some protester cited for trespass is a pain in the neck and has proven ineffective.  There are plenty of folks willing to get and fight tickets and misdemeanor offenses.  But getting cross-wise with a Federal judge is serious business.  Breakign a law is one thing; ignoring a Court order is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.  

                  "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                  by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:13:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  That makes the injunction even more nonsensical. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action

            The situation in question has no parallel of your hypothetical 200-year redwood. Shell isn't doing anything they can't just try to do again. The oil will still be there.

            "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

            by nosleep4u on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:17:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The problem isn't that the oil is going (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk, VClib, samddobermann

              to be destroyed/disappear, its the risk to people and property that comes along with GP attempting to forcibly board a ship in the middle of the Arctic Ocean.  No one is pretending the oil is going to dry up.  

              •  As if there are no risks in the activities (0+ / 0-)

                In which Shell is engaging, only the protesters? You see how sick and twisted that is? And yet it makes perfect sense in the non-sensical established culture of commerce and justice the plutocracy has created to protect itself from sane consideration or redress.

                Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

                by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:55:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  So it is double plus illegal now. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          Because it's a protest.

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:44:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, because it's dangerous and illegal activity (4+ / 0-)

            Look, Shell would not have gotten the injunction if it was just inconvenient.  If you read the opinion, as in all injunction matters, Shell had to show not only that it was likely to succeed on the merits (that forcibly boarding its vessels and rigs in the open water was illegal and/or tortious) but ALSO that it would suffer irreparable harm -- that there would not be an adequate remedy if Shell waited, they did forcibly boarded the vessels and rigs, and then sued for money.  If it can be remedied with money, it's not irreparable harm.  The reason the court found there was irreparable harm is because the actions enjoined were dangerous and put people's lives at stake, as well as increased the risk of environmental damage from the rigs they were interfering with:  

            2. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm
            The district court concluded that Shell demonstrated a
            likelihood of irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because “illegal or tortious efforts to board or interfere with [its] vessels would be likely to present unacceptable risks to human life, property and the environment.” Shell Offshore, 864 F. Supp. 2d at 851 (internal quotation marks omitted). In  support of these findings, the court considered evidence that actions of the sort undertaken by Greenpeace activists against Shell vessels in New Zealand, Finland, and Greenland pose risks to the safetyof activists and vessel occupants alike. The court also found – and Greenpeace USA does not dispute – that “if Greenpeace USA successfully disrupted Shell’s operation, calculating the amount of economic harm would be very difficult.” Id.

            Greenpeace USA offers nothing beyond conclusory
            statements and case summaries in support of its one-sentence argument that the “likelihood of future injury is speculative and cannot be based on matters that occurred in 1997, or that 8 involved entities that are not Greenpeace USA.” The record provides ample support for the conclusion that Greenpeace USA has either undertaken directly, or embraced as its own, tactics that include forcible e boarding of vessels at sea and the use of human beings as impediments to drilling operations. We find  it too plain for debate that such tactics at minimum pose a serious risk of harm to human life, particularly if attempted in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, and that such harm could find no adequate remedy at law.

            •  I love it, Shell arguing (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emal, Words In Action

              that they should be able to stop something because the results can't be adequately remedied with money. The irony hurts.

              Thank you for the clarification though.

              It's double plus illegal because the potential results can't be fixed with money.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:44:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Irony? Because people can get killed (4+ / 0-)

                on offshore rigs?  

                That's irony?  

                When people die, they can't be compensated through money.  That's "irreparable harm."  That's what justifies an injunction.  Because if someone is killed because these people are trying to force their way onto a vessel or rig in the middle of the ocean, money can't adequately compensate for that.    

                Offshore rigs are inherently dangerous environments.  People trying to force their way onto those rigs and and trying to physically disrupt what's going on makes that particular vessel or rig situation more dangerous, and make it more likely people on that vessel or rig will get hurt or die.  
                 

                •  No Irony because their actions (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Words In Action, burlydee, KenBee

                  are irreparably damaging the world for generations to come and they make money off of it.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:04:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Fine. And if you want them to stop, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    VClib, CalGal47

                    you don't use methods that put the lives and safety of people in danger.  

                    •  Yes, and they've set it up (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Words In Action, burlydee

                      so that there's no effective way to stop it that doesn't include direct action against their construction.

                      Convenient, isn't it.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:17:36 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How does direct action... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coffeetalk, samddobermann

                        ...against their construction stop it?  

                        Seems like with the money they stand to make, they can afford to fix anything you can break.

                        •  That's why you keep doing it (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Words In Action, burlydee, KenBee

                          We have managed to stop the clear cutting of old growth redwoods here in California for more than a decade using these methods. It's not breaking things that they're trying to stop, it's getting in the way. At least with Keystone XL.

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:36:08 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Especially because there are so many willing to (0+ / 0-)

                          Let it be so, if not actively helping it be so. So very many who otherwise claim to be on the good side, protecting the vulnerable, and not just people.

                          But they aren't.

                          Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

                          by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:14:39 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  Why don't you do something (0+ / 0-)

                    besides repeating your claims ad infinitem? How about getting with an attorney and try to get an injunction against the oil companies including the tar sands folks on the grounds of the irreparable harm to the planet?

                    Or run for office. I would suggest start small.

                    I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                    by samddobermann on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 05:38:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Drill, Baby, Drill!!! (3+ / 0-)

      We have a fairly long history of folks protesting stuff in this country by going places where they're not welcome.  Yes, they often end up in jail, regardless of whether their beliefs are right or wrong.  Pre-emptive injunctions are a step too far.

    •  Unnecessary injunction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, burlydee

      Past actions noted in the opinion were illegal.  No injunction against such activity is necessary since the controlling legislation is already in place.

      What the injunction really does is: (1)  legislate a protest-free area around a corporate activity, and (2) chill public protest against corporate activity which is demonstrably harmful to the environment in which Greenpeace (and the rest of us) live.

      Greenpeace activists are willing to be jailed (or worse) to protect this one part of the closed system in which we all live.

      "Terrorists' come in all flavors; some annoy corporate marauders; some employ our own government to terrify us into inaction.

      •  No. The Injunction was justified, just as with (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, CalGal47

        all injunctions, because of the likelihood of irreparable harm -- forcibly boarding vessels and rigs put the lives and safety of people in danger:

        2. Likelihood of Irreparable Harm
        The district court concluded that Shell demonstrated a
        likelihood of irreparable harm absent injunctive relief because “illegal or tortious efforts to board or interfere with [its] vessels would be likely to present unacceptable risks to human life, property and the environment.” Shell Offshore, 864 F. Supp. 2d at 851 (internal quotation marks omitted). In  support of these findings, the court considered evidence that actions of the sort undertaken by Greenpeace activists against Shell vessels in New Zealand, Finland, and Greenland pose risks to the safetyof activists and vessel occupants alike. The court also found – and Greenpeace USA does not dispute – that “if Greenpeace USA successfully disrupted Shell’s operation, calculating the amount of economic harm would be very difficult.” Id.
        Greenpeace USA offers nothing beyond conclusory
        statements and case summaries in support of its one-sentence argument that the “likelihood of future injury is speculative and cannot be based on matters that occurred in 1997, or that 8 involved entities that are not Greenpeace USA.” The record provides ample support for the conclusion that Greenpeace USA has either undertaken directly, or embraced as its own, tactics that include forcible e boarding of vessels at sea and the use of human beings as impediments to drilling operations. We find  it too plain for debate that such tactics at minimum pose a serious risk of harm to human life, particularly if attempted in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, and that such harm could find no adequate remedy at law.
        •  So coming within a certain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action

          specified distance of them is dangerous?

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 03:49:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  As if the protesters are the ONLY party engaged (0+ / 0-)

          In activity that may result in harm? More likely or of greater import than that of Shell? Listen to yourself.

          The reason global warming has advanced so far is because of such pedestrian, officious thinking as this. It makes it so much easier to simply say that actually dealing with it isn't pragmatic... You're right, according to the plutocracy's rule., nothing will or can be done about it. But who created those rules and who's protecting and defending them, thus preventing solutions???

          Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

          by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:02:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  What a suprise (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      the caffeinated corporate lawyer stands with Shell.  

    •  coffeetalk, don't bother us with (0+ / 0-)

      facts. We would rather become outraged and indignant to the max. That excuses us from working productively about getting anything changed.

      If 2014 goes like 2010 did it truly is all over.

      What is different about the hysteria and doomsday obsessing here from that on the red sites? Both seem to think that if Obama was gone everything would be just peachy.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:50:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder if they will sue you , (5+ / 0-)

    because you wrote about them getting you banned from protesting ?

    I wonder if I went up there in my own little boat ...

    The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. David Morrison

    by indycam on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:46:33 AM PDT

  •  thanks for the diary (10+ / 0-)

    a very important issue, as we see our civil liberties attacked on many fronts.

    Like the multinational kxl trying to mark protesters as terrorists!

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 07:48:21 AM PDT

  •  Well, I'm SURE they can cloak it... (17+ / 0-)

    in a nice little legal defense about "eco-terrorism".

    Or maybe something about private property! That's an all time favorite hit.

    As we all know, nothing's more important than a corporations right to do whatever they want with stuff they own.  

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:08:05 AM PDT

  •  damn (4+ / 0-)

    this is like the boy with his finger in the dike. Wiretapping, data gathering, election rigging, citizens united, ....

    And now this shit......

    "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

    by fugwb on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:23:45 AM PDT

  •  The rise of the totalitarian tide must be stopped (5+ / 0-)

    I hope the court does the right thing.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:25:59 AM PDT

  •  There is no First Amendment Issue Here (5+ / 0-)

    Before spouting off about corporate interests being protected, totalitarianism, and all the rest of it, please read the 9th Circuit's opinion, which was linked in the original diary.  

    There is no 1st Amendment right to "protest" by engaging in trespass or damaging another's property.  Whatever you think of what Shell is doing, or what our government is doing with its submerged land leases ... the 1st Amendment right to free expression doesn't cover the activities that the "protesters" want to engage in and that Shell had a pretty good argument that, but for injunctive relief, they would engage in in connection with this particular drilling operation.  This isn't anything new or "totalitarian."  It's a respect for the rule of law, something that I hope our community would embrace.

    I'd also note that if GP's arguments here are so legally unsupported that they can't even win in the 9th Circuit with them.

    "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

    by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:48:55 AM PDT

    •  And the activities GP wants to engage in are (8+ / 0-)

      dangerous.  The opinion acknowledges that.  There is nothing safe about forcibly boarding vessels or drilling rigs in the middle of the ocean and putting your body in the middle of drilling activities so as to stop those.  Those activities are dangerous not just for the activists engaging in them, but for the workers on those vessels and those rigs.  

      If the opinion just enjoined "protests," I'd be all behind the diarist.  But I can't find fault with an injunction to prevent someone from forcibly boarding vessels and rigs in the middle of the ocean and putting their body in places so as to disrupt those activities.  That's a safety issue as much as anything else.  

      •  Here's specificallwhat GP was enjoined from doing: (5+ / 0-)

        a. Breaking into or trespassing on [specified] vessels;

        b. Tortiously or illegally interfering with the
        operation, movement or progress of [specified]
        vessels;

        c. Barricading, blocking, or preventing access to or
        egress from [specified] vessels;

        d. Tortiously or illegally endangering or threatening
        any employee, contractor or visitor of Shell or any
        of its affiliates who is present on, or as they enter
        or exit, [specified] vessels.

        I know there are some direct action protesters here at DK, and more who support such actions if not engaging in them personally.  But, the reality of this kind of stuff is that it's illegal.  That's the whole point of your action, right?  So it shouldn't come as a surprise that governments and people or companies who are on the receiving end of them would use the law (and law enforcement, since this stuff is illegal) to put an end to it.  There's nothing here new or controversial.  Call trespassing, breaking into someone's property, and blockading vessels "protesting" all you want ... but there's ZERO argument that any of that stuff is, or ever has been considered protected First Amendment activity.

        "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

        by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Except that if you read the actual wording (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action

        you will see that it can easily apply to much more than that.  Would not a protest near the docks of those ships, even if on public property, "interfere with the operation, movement or progress of [specified] vessels;" by slowing down traffic thus delaying the crew by a few minutes?  Also, all it would take is a single employee to claim they feel threatened by any kind of protest and that is that.  So yes, the injunction does block any kind of protest if you read it like a lawyer would.

        Remember, the intent of the injunction doesn't matter.  Only the actual wording (and how it can be twisted to apply as broadly as possible) does.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:19:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, that's not correct (6+ / 0-)

          The "actual wording," as you point out, is what controls.  And the "actual wording" here requires that the acts enjoined in pars. b and d be either "tortious" or "illegal."  So, no, the broad reading that you're going those paragraphs isn't concerning.  

          Where, exactly, does the First Amendment protect the right to engage in tortious or criminal acts?  As an attorney who has obtained and defended plenty of injunctions over the years, I'd like to see the cases that suggest that this kind of stuff is protected expressive activity.

          And yes, blocking or restricting access to someone's place of business, even from a public place, is going to be tortious and likely illegal.  That's a point that most of us will be very familiar with in protecting abortion clinics from the Operation Rescue folks and their ilk.  The exact same principles apply here.  Tell me there's some difference, please, other than that we're supposed to "like" Greepeace and the environment, and that we're against OR and for a woman's right to choose?  

          It's the same laws, folks.  Exactly the same.

          "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

          by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:30:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great point (5+ / 0-)

            People need to remember the Golden Rule when protesting, and realize that anything they want to do to far-right interests, others can turn around and do to us.

          •  However, any protest is going to restrict (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dartagnan, 3goldens, Words In Action

            access to someone's place of business as at least some drivers will slow down to get a better look thus slowing down anyone going to their place of business.  Therefore all protests, including the Wisconsin overpass light one, are illegal by your thinking.  Remember, even a 30 second delay is still a restriction of access and a 3 minute one definitely is.

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:53:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And any form of protest (2+ / 0-)

              can have the effect of intimidating or "threatening" depending on subjective interpretations.  The question becomes whether those interpretations are "reasonable," and that's a jury's decision. So it would seem any protester in order to evade the injunction would have to get inside the mind of whoever witnessed the protest and guide his actions accordingly.

            •  Only matters if it's illegal or tortious (5+ / 0-)

              Here's the deal with the legal fight that GP has picked here:

              Unless you're willing to defend with equal vigor the right of Operation Rescue "protesters" to delay and hinder women who are on their way into a Planned Parenthood clinic, to block acces to that clinic, and to chain themselves to the clinic doors, then there isn't much left of GP's arguments in this case.  And at least in the abortion clinic cases -- all of which were resolved 20 years ago -- those "protests" took place from a sidwalk, which is at least a quasi-public forum.  There's no argument that the middle of the ocean is a public forum of any sort for First Amendment purposes.  OR had a better legal argument that GreenPeace does here, and they lost -- as they should have.

              "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

              by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:12:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I have not read every abortion clinic case (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action

                how many were pre-emptive injunctions entered before protesters actually interferred with women, etc.>

                Pre-emptive restrictions on speech (and assumptions of illegal activity in the future) have not been favored in the law by and large.

                •  Injunctives are always pre-emptive ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  johnny wurster, samddobermann

                  ... and the enjoined activities are not protected expressive activities, whether they're done by abortion protesters or environmental rights activists.

                  "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                  by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:37:45 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no injunctions are not always pre-emptive (4+ / 0-)

                    generally there has to be something that has happened, note the discussion in the opinion itself as to whether there is really a case in controversy or if the actions are all speculative, can't even get jurisdiction without the controversy.

                    But they frequently interrupt at an early stage of a plan or series of actions to restore or maintain the status quo.  So frequently someone has already blocked the disputed shared drive, claimed possession of some tangible or intangible property, or gone beyond speech to actual take control of or block legal access to a place.  And the court did address whether Greenpeace planned illegal activities, ie, something more than speech alone that would be an act that could be stopped, because speech alone would not provide a basis.  It then reached out to activities not done by the party in the suit, Greenpeace USA, and said  all Greenpeaces are alike and will do the same things these other groups did, even though it entered a sworn statement that all acts would be peaceful and trespass is in violation of the peace, so it should rule out trespass.  The majority split some mighty fine hairs.  I repeat, the dissent was better grounded in the facts and law.

                    •  We'll have to agree to disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      The point of an injunction is to prevent the harm from occurring in the first place.  As a remedy, iit's always forward-looking, though whether you get it depends, of course, on events that have already occurred and -- among other things -- the likelihood of the harm occurring but for the injunction.  But what you're enjoining is future conduct.  

                      "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                      by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:03:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  there is a differnce between (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Words In Action, burlydee

                        enjoining future conduct and a pre-emptive act.

                        All a court can do with an injunction is enjoin future action. Even the least able jurists tend to recognize a court order can not enjoin an action already taken, one can't unring a bell.  The court says, stop ringing the bell for now until we have a hearing on the merits.

                        What courts usually don't do is say to someone, 'you've never actually been near a bell,  have not expressly stated you are going to ring the bell, but since you admired others that  have rung bells before, we are going to enjoin you from ringing the bell.'

                        •  Dude, read the opinion (0+ / 0-)

                          You're entitled to your own opinion about Shell and direct-action protesters and all the rest of it, but you're not entitled to your own facts.  That's just flat-out not true as far as what happened here.  GP USA got enjoined based on their own actions; no one else's.  The district court and the 9th Circuit made that totally clear.

                          And of course it's preemptive.  Injunctions are preemptive.  That's the whole point of it.  Read some of the cases cited by the 9th Circuit in its opinion.  They're the "usual suspects" on injunctive relief and they'll help you understand what an injunction is and what it is that the petitioner has to show to get one.

                          "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                          by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:53:03 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I did read the opinion and the dissent (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action

                            and the acts attributed to the corporate person, were not its acts as standards of law in the past are applied.

                            I know what an injunction is, I've gotten them before.  

                            BLD:

                            A prohibitive writ issued by a cout of equity, at the suit of a party compalinant, directed to a party defendant n the action or to a party made defendant for that purpose, forbidding the latter to do some act, or to permit his servants or agents to do some act, which he is threatening or attempting to commit, or restraining him in the continuance thereof . . .

                            IE, after a threat to commit an act, the attempt to commit (ie actions taken) or continuance, ie, injunctions issue against all three fact scenarios, only one of which is prior to any act, and that still follows a threat to commit the act.  In this case, no threat to act existed at the time suit was brought, the court speculated and inferred based on what other corporate persons did and some isolated participation by members in the corporate person but without authorization took.  Again,  I stand by what I said.  Always means in every case.  Not always was all I said.

                            Pre-emptive in the law is narrow in one sense, a right to acquire land or goodsbefore anyone else, or more generally by common definition, to take a right in  advance.  It is not based on an act by another being stopped in advance, it is taking a right in advance.  Hence issues of pre-emption of the right of speech, or federal pre-emption of areas of law to be legislated upon by the state legislatures.

                            Injunctions are always prospective, but not always pre-emptive.  

                          •  Prohibited from acting is preempted (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't know how it could be more clear.

                            There's no body of "preemption" case law in TRO/injunction/emergency litigation practice.  If there is, please show me, 'cause somehow I managed to miss it after practicing in this are for 15 years.

                            "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                            by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:17:04 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so you have now insisted (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action

                            over several posts that all injunctions are pre-emptive, then go back and demand I prove to you that there is a body of preemption case law because you've never seen it.  

                            So what is your real position on injunctions, are they pre-emptive or not?

                          •  You mentioned preemption doctrine, ... (0+ / 0-)

                            ... where is it?  Where is this doctrine discussed in the contect of emergency litigation?  It's not.  It's not a term of art that's recognized -- at least, I've never come across it -- in the context of obtaining or defending against emergency, equitable relief.  

                            It's preemptive in the sense that it -- the ripening of the petitioner's right to the injunction -- occurs before the conduct that one wants to enjoin.  You're the one talking about prior restraints on speech and preemption doctrine, above.  The speech issue in this case is just silly.  There isn't protected expressive activity taking place here.  Period.  Nor is there some doctrine of preemption that applies in the context of injunctive relief.  

                            I don't have to wait for my abuser to hit me in the face or rape me before I can go into court and get an order that says he can't do those things and that he needs to stay 100 yards away from me, my car, my home, and my place of business.  It's exactly the same damn deal here.  There isn't anything new or novel or unique in the injunction that Shell got in this case, from a legal perspetive.  What's relatively new about it is that companies have finally caught on that this is a very powerful tool.  You'll find plenty of folks who want to chain themselves to fence or sit down with their buddies in a sleeping dragon if all they're going to get is some obstruction/resisting-wthout and trespass charges.  You're not going to find too many people who are going to want to get hammered with a civil contempt deal.  That's all that's new here.

                            "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                            by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 12:35:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and I just quoted Blacks Law Dictionary (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, burlydee, KenBee

                            and I am pretty sure that definition comports with the variety of fact patterns, the pre-emption in the sense I used it and you are now using , ie, no action taken is only one potentional fact pattern.

                            I have repeatedly pointed out that there are other patterns in which actions have been taken, and then stopped by injunction. THis all started with a question  you never answered over whether any abortion clinic case was an injuntion entered before protesters had actually interfered with a woman approaching the building.    And again,  the actions for which an injunction can be entered, can't be purely speculative.  Even in a family violence tro, jargon may differ where you are, some showing has to be made of a threat to get the order.   Here they may be entered ex parte and a fairly small showing, but there has to be something.

                            I believe that the dissenting judge, who found the majority's reliance on acts by others,  no current threat, too tenuous to meet the standards for the injunction.

                            I kept my comments to the fact pattern, I have no desire to try to prove my credentials to someone who can't admit the obvious, that all injunctions do not occur before any acts are taken.  Or based on lack of a credible or plausible threat.  It is hard to get an injunction against someone who never threatened you, never punched you, never raped you, because some other person once did those things to you.

                            And I find the ease with which protest may be chilled through the use of speculative fact patterns to claim a threat, bootstrapping as it were to add more words to nit pik over, a problem and still continue to find the well reasoned, well supported dissent to have the better of the legal argument.

                  •  or even those guilty of it (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jfromga, Words In Action

                    if the corp thinks it might happen, you're good with it

                    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

                    by greenbastard on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:51:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You aren't thinking like a lawyer. Just claim (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                3goldens, Words In Action

                that it is an illegal protest because it violates the order and that it violates the order because it is illegal.  In other words, a circular argument.

                And again, since any protest will cause a delay (even a 30 second delay due to slowed traffic is still a delay) that means all protests are illegal, PERIOD.

                You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:35:14 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  All protests are not illegal... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  misslegalbeagle, CalGal47

                  GP USA and its lawyers damn-well know what "illegal" and "tortious" mean, even if folks responding to this diary don't, or pretend that they don't.

                  There's nothing circular here.  It's this simple: Shell convinced a judge that, based on GP USA's past actions, more likely than not GP USA would interfere with its drilling operation in such a way that the interference could not be remedied at law.  GP has about zero right to engage in criminal conduct and there was no good argument that they would be engaged protected First Amendment activity in the time and place where Shell would be conducting its drilling.  Balancing out the harm to Shell – significant safety concerns and economic losses -- against the harm to GP (what right do you have to break the law?), the Court enjoined GP in very narrow terms from interfering with their business.  The 9th Circuit found that this reasoning was within the discretion of the trial judge.  To a lawyer, this is all pretty obvious.  There's nothing interesting or controversial here.  The law on this stuff is very, very well-settled.

                  We're supposed to be a reality-based community, folks.  Part of that means that what's good for the direct action right-to-life goose is also good for the environmental activist gander.

                  "There is nothing impossible to him who will try." -Alexander the Great

                  by The Octopus on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  We both know that a good lawyer can make "yes" (0+ / 0-)

                    mean "no".  Remember the whole "it depends on what your definition of "is" is" thing?

                    And can you seriously claim that a protest, any protest, will not slow down traffic even a little bit due to drivers slowing down to take a closer look at some of the signs?  And if an essential crew member is delayed by even 30 seconds to a minute would that not "interfere with the operation, movement or progress of [specified] vessels" by delaying the departure by a few minutes?  Or if you want to be really creative, claim that the protesters driving to the protest might have altered the weather patterns (you know, the so called "butterfly effect") enough to force the ship to change course to avoid a storm.

                    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                    by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:27:27 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  You're missing the issue, what the corporation (4+ / 0-)

      accuses Greenpeace of is that others have trespassed, and so Greenpeace might do the same, so they should be held in certain free speech like zones.

      Read the whole thing.

      So they are losing their rights due to the actions of others? That's what you think is OK?

      Greenpeace is the boarding vessels types. They are the stand nearby and protest type.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by greenbastard on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:13:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  read the dissent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, burlydee

      which was better on the facts and the law.

    •  Stop letting reality interfere with the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, The Octopus, a2nite

      moral outrage!!!!

  •  Even if Shell loses (8+ / 0-)

    which they damned well should, they'll get back at you another way.

    Just think about something for a moment. How many large corporations--who already own our reps and senators and executives--will get access to what the NSA has access to right now? If you don't think they'll buy access to it from their congresscritter, and then use it to terrorize anyone who threatens their hegemony--like Greenpeace has done for a long time-- you're dreaming.

    You think your First Amendment rights are chilled now? You ain't seen nothin' yet, if that Spy Genie isn't taken away from those who no doubt already abuse it.

    Yet another reason to not wave away Edward Snowden. What he's let on about--these things our government (and surely others) is now doing--touch so many other facets of our lives. This is absolutely one of them. Advocacy and protest will never, ever work in quite the same way, ever again, if this kind of access isn't reined in NOW.

    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

    by lunachickie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 08:50:04 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary. (3+ / 0-)

    SOS - Save Our Sigs!

    by blueoregon on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:16:27 AM PDT

  •  Interesting passage from the CA9 opinion: (4+ / 0-)
    The safety zones do not prevent Greenpeace USA from communicating with its target audience because, as the district court observed, Greenpeace USA has no audience at sea.  And although the injunction imposes a safety “bubble” around Shell’s vessels, Greenpeace USA’s reliance on Schenck and its discussion of bubble zones around abortion clinics is sorely misplaced.   Speech is, of course, most protected in such quintessential public fora as the public sidewalks surrounding abortion clinics.  See id. at 377.  But the high seas are not a public forum, and the lessons of Schenck have little applicability there.
  •  Goliath corporations SLAPPing around the citizens. (5+ / 0-)
  •  Orwell strikes again (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, maryabein, Words In Action

    I'm beginning to wonder if the guy didn't have a time machine and travel into our future.

    ..and they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:37:11 AM PDT

  •  Wow. (7+ / 0-)

    Just more of the 1% telling the 99% where, when and how we can dissent or show our displeasure.

    Now it's hard to find public sidewalks to stand on with a sign.  Most corporate offices are located in "plazas" in which they own so you can't even stand there if you look "suspicious".  

    At least Green Peace walks their talk instead of just yammering about the next time they might be allowed to vote on big oil subsidies, killing of our waters and land, destruction of habitation for most life.  

    One Corporation Under God.  

    "Love One Another" ~ George Harrison

    by Damnit Janet on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:44:34 AM PDT

  •  Bond was denied his seat because of his speech (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    not denied a right to speak.

    As i read the wikipedia article, because he had spoken
    against the war in vietnam pre election, the legislature
    denied him his seat.

    The Supreme Court decided this was a chilling of free speech.

  •  Everyone must protest. Protest often. Use it or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    lose it.

  •  freedom inconvenient4those who'd suppress/it.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaughingPlanet, Words In Action

    Don Benedetto was murdered.-IgnazioSilone(BreadAndWine)

    by renzo capetti on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:46:24 AM PDT

  •  But Shell has a record....don't they? (5+ / 0-)

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 10:57:20 AM PDT

  •  Best of luck with the ruling. (4+ / 0-)

    And congrats on just your 2nd recommended diary here, my friend. You caught the wave on the attention span here.

    Shame that normally your posts go largely unnoticed.

    And remember: if we fail on climate change, nothing else matters. - WarrenS

    by LaughingPlanet on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:10:24 AM PDT

  •  I wish I were surprised, but given our level (4+ / 0-)

    of fascism in this country, I don't have the energy to even pretend.

    Thanks for posting this diary.

  •  The yawners will be absolutely narcoleptic (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OutcastsAndCastoffs

    over this one.

    As far as they're concerned, the sooner dissent from the hegemony of the commercial establishment and plutocracy is  totally and irrevocably eradicated from human potential, the better.

    Add the median effective tax rate, healthcare costs (20%?), education costs, and other things guaranteed in Denmark & Sweden, we pay MORE for LESS. Somebody's gotta pay the billionaires. They don't grow on trees. ☮ ♥ ☺

    by Words In Action on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 11:33:53 AM PDT

  •  We should ignore any court order that prevents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    protest in public space.

  •  I continue to believe that we're going through (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    native, Words In Action, KenBee

    a prolonged era of economic conservative dominance that sooner or later will flip our way, but is clearly taking its time in doing so. That the courts are still siding with corporations over people is the result of decades of devoted efforts by corporations and the rich to fill the courts with far-right conservative judges. But it's a lagging indicator of conservative dominance, and already, I believe, the pendulum is swinging away from them, fast, but at a level, that of the discontent of everyday people, that has yet to manifest itself against them in any tangible way. But it's coming. It's inevitable. The logic of pure capitalism, as Marx predicted, is to increasingly be parasitic, which of course is not only unsustainable economically, but invariably results in mass popular backlash.

    They're only as powerful as the power that they have. Sooner or later, it will ebb. It always does. It already is, or else Keystone would be a done deal by now. This isn't 2003 and the establishment doesn't do fast track as easily.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 01:40:45 PM PDT

    •  The logic of pure capitalism is (7+ / 0-)

      also wrecking the very planet that sustains us all. And really, in fact belongs to us all. The Arctic ocean does not belong to Shell Oil, any more than the Gulf of Mexico belonged to BP. And yet BP, via the Deepwater Horizon, was somehow privileged to pour millions of gallons of oil into it. Bravo, capitalist logic.

      If people try to stop the ongoing wreckage, to stand in the way of some oil giant, they get prosecuted. They become "eco-terrorists". Was a more idiotic term ever invented? If it were to have any meaning at all, it would be applied to BP and Shell for despoiling what does not belong to them in the first place.

      Yet who do you suppose the NSA and related spooks will be keeping an eye on? Who risks being sent to prison? It won't be oil company execs, that's for sure.

      •  "National Security" = Corporate Security (6+ / 0-)

        Not always, but often, and increasingly. In previous eras it was Bechtel, Standard Oil and the United Fruit Company.

        We really have 2 governments, one that serves the interests of regular people, that's increasingly broken and broke (or so we're told), and the other that serves the interests of the rich and powerful. Somehow, it never seems to be broken or broke. Funny how that works.

        Cuts to Social Security and Medicare, budget increases for the MIC.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 02:21:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The bastards can't stop couch activism (0+ / 0-)

    It's easy: Stay home and do nothing. Failing that, don't buy their shit, and work to raise the level of not-buying-their-shit.

    "The stream of commuters heading into the city, the caravan of tractor-trailers pulling out of the rest stop into the dawn’s early light, speak a deep-throated Yes to the sum total of what’s going on in our collective life." (Garret Keizer)

    by Couch Activist on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:02:58 PM PDT

  •  They can always violate the injunction. (0+ / 0-)

    The optics of waging felony prosecutions against people for protesting would be a lot more damaging to the targets of protest and the government than intimidating to protesters.

    Nothing makes a Republican angrier than a smile on a poor child's face.

    by Troubadour on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:01:22 PM PDT

  •  Part of a pattern (0+ / 0-)

    The 9th circuit, led by a Libertarian chief justce has also attacked Sea Shepherd with similar bullshit injunctions.  

    The ultimate goal in all these cases is to financially destroy these protest organizations and allow large corporate entities to do as they wish or in the case of Sea Shepherd, the Japanese whalers who are engaging in illegal whaling activities under the guise of 'research'.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 09:59:00 PM PDT

  •  all you need to do is protest the court decision.. (0+ / 0-)

    in the near vicinity of Shell's drill sites.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 04:17:25 AM PDT

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