Two months ago the Guardian reported that opponents of the Jordan Cove LNG terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline were under increasing surveillance by local law enforcement and the FBI. This came as little surprise to many activists who have suspected that their phones have been tapped or their computers hacked over the past few years. But the specifics cited in the article raised enough alarms that some elected officials (those not receiving massive campaign contributions from Jordan Cove) have spoken out against these infringements on civil liberties.
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with an expert on civil liberties law, Lauren Regan, executive director of the Civil Liberties Defense Center in Eugene, about why she believes this surveillance violates Oregon state law, and why she stated in the Guardian article that: “Police and corporations are working together to suppress movements against fossil fuels.”
Lauren Regan, Executive Director, oversees the CLDC as its founder and senior staff attorney. She has extensive federal and state litigation experience in both civil rights and activist defense cases, as well as expertise in necessity and other constitutional defenses. Lauren is a national expert in the defense of political activists, particularly those engaged in climate justice, environmental/animal rights, indigenous, and anti-capitalist movements and their intersections.
The Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction. They provide litigation, education, legal, and strategic resources to strengthen and embolden their success.
For the past 16 years the CLDC has provided pro bono representation to frontline activists, the vast majority of whom come from marginalized and/or low-income backgrounds, to better know and assert their rights. Since 2003 Lauren Regan and CLDC lawyers have defended more than 3,500 activists in court without any cost to them. The CLDC has also litigated several successful federal civil impact cases intended to increase police accountability and protect people in jails and private prisons.