Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products has distinguished itself in the corporate community by being prepared to take on the lies and intimidation tactics of radical environmental juggernaut Greenpeace, but the price is having to suffer repeated low blows and threats to its business.
The latest came when Greenpeace pressured Arnaud Nourry, the head of Paris-based publishing giant Hachette, a major Resolute customer, to write a letter that appeared to threaten Hachette’s business with Resolute.
Greenpeace has for years been fundraising by harassing Resolute as a “Forest Destroyer.” Four years ago, Resolute CEO Richard Garneau threw away the usual playbook of corporate appeasement and sued Greenpeace for malicious defamation. Last year he upped the ante by bringing a suit against Greenpeace in the U.S. under RICO racketeering laws.
Greenpeace has writhed to avoid its day(s) in court, mainly by turning up the heat on Resolute’s customers, but it has also tried to claim that the case is really all about free speech, which has allowed it to apply particular pressure to publishers. As part of this campaign, the environmental NGO has recently recruited lefty literary celebrities — such as Margaret Atwood and Naomi Klein — to sign a “pledge” for free speech.
It also published newspaper ads indicating support from 90 Usual Suspect organizations — from the Broadbent Institute through the Pembina Institute to 350.org — for the notion that Resolute was “trying to sue Greenpeace & Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) out of existence. This is all about trying to silence anyone who disagrees with Resolute.
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