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Freedom of expression under attack: �cosoci�t� hit by a SLAPP

Barrick Gold, the world largest gold mining company, launched a $6 millions lawsuit against �cosoci�t� solely in order to crush them and force them into bankruptcy. Following the publication of /Noir Canada. Pillage, corruption et criminalit� en Afrique/, Barrick asked the small non-profit Quebec publisher, and the authors of Noir Canada, $5 millions for compensatory psychological harms, as well as one million on account of exemplary damages, which represents 25 times �cosoci�t� annual revenue.

This lawsuit muzzle, or Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP), represents a serious threat to the right to information and freedom of expression and therefore to democracy. We refuse to get ourselves muzzled and we will carry on our work as a socially committed publisher.

�cosoci�t� ask for all forms of possible support to carry on this David and Goliath struggle.

In order to help us, you can:

Noir Canada. Pillage, corruption et criminalit� en Afriquebrings together and analyses national and international documents already available to the public (reports, books, documentaries...), concerning various abuses from several Canadian companies working in Africa, in particular in the mining and oil areas. It also deals with the supports these corporations benefit on behalf of the Canadian government. The debate the book wishes to make public is all the more legitimate given that Canadians assets (retirement funds, RRSP, public funds) are often indirectly invested in these corporations through Toronto Stock Exchange.

If there is a surplus in the legal defense fund, �cosoci�t� will use it to help other SLAPP victims.

This strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a serious threat to the democratic principle of the informed citizen.

We now have new tools to react to these threats to freedom of expression and the right to information in a legal battle that may well be arduous and expensive.

Large union confederations, social groups, leading figures (Fr�d�ric Back, Stanley P�an, Laure Waridel, Julius Grey) as well as over 400 citizens have already signed the petition.

We invite you to inform your networks about this campaign and its website.

It will be regularly updated as the campaign progresses with new information and proposed lines of actions.

This fight for the right to inform and to remain informed concerns us all.


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