PVC chemical corporations sued by Greenpeace for spying on local community leaders
Today, Greenpeace filed a major lawsuit against PVC chemical manufacturers Sasol and Dow Chemical for spying on Greenpeace and community members in Mossville, Louisiana.
The story of the lawsuit broke in a major article in the Washington Post, which reports:
The 56-page suit, filed by Greenpeace in U.S. District Court in the District, said the chemical companies and public relations firms Dezenhall Resources and Ketchum hired former executives at a private security firm to spy on Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000 and to perform a range of “clandestine and unlawful” actions to undermine its anti-pollution efforts against the chemical industry.
PVC industry spying on community leaders fighting for clean air and water
The PVC chemical industry apparently hired a firm made up of “former secret service agents and police officers” to spy on community members fighting dioxin and vinyl chloride contamination down in Mossville. One of the plants, Condea Vista, is now owned by Sasol, one of the companies targeted in the lawsuit.
Mossville is surrounded by more PVC chemical plants than anywhere else in the country, and the pollution problems from Condea Vista in Mossville were recently profiled in a major one-hour expose by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You can see a brief clip of that special below.
Dumpster diving and infiltrating Greenpeace’s headquarters
The lawsuit is centered around chemical industry espionage designed to infiltrate and uncover Greenpeace’s campaigns against the PVC plastics industry. According to Greenpeace:
The suit charges the defendants stole thousands of documents, intercepted phone call detail records (CDRs), trespassed and conducted unlawful surveillance and theft of confidential information related to Greenpeace’s public interest work.
“The message of this lawsuit is: when companies engage in espionage, they will be discovered and exposed. These unacceptable and underhanded tactics interfered with valuable work we were undertaking to protect public health and expose environmental crimes,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Phil Radford.
You go Greenpeace! We can’t wait to see what comes of this!