Adani vs. Ben and his family: #AdaniVsDad
Adani is attempting to silence our movement through fear of retribution, by suing our previous national spokesperson, Ben Pennings – a Brisbane dad, for standing up for his kids’ future. This lawsuit is what is commonly referred to as a SLAPP suit.
SLAPP – Stategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation
“A lawsuit intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. In the typical SLAPP, the plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit”
The lawsuit could take years, taking both an emotional and financial toll on Ben, his wife and three school aged children. If Adani gets their way, the family home in Aspley, Brisbane will need to be sold, and the Ben bankrupted.
We’ve taken a look at the public court documentation, and this is what we’ve found:
Adani declares the #StopAdani movement is hurting them
Adani claim they are suffering damages as a direct result of their claims against Ben. If these claims are true, we think there will be thousands of people saying they are guilty too! Here’s what the documents says:
- The withdrawal of Downer Group from negotiations caused the scope of the Carmichael Mine to be scaled down from 30mtpa to a 10mtpa
- The consequence of the downscaling has resulted in an increase to the capital cost per ton of coal of at least 15%
- Downer Group is said to have withdrawn from negotiations as a result of being subjected to “continuous protestor action directed to Downer’s business and offices”
- The budgeted spend on security for both the Carmichael Mine and Rail Network has increased from $1million to $5million
- Insurance premium costs have increased by over 400 per cent
- Where there has been disruption caused by protest activity at the mine or rail network, Adani are usually contractually bound to compensate their contractors for any losses or disruption
- Adani has been required, through the disengagement by three contractors (Downer, Greyhound, AECOM), to negotiate with and engage replacement contractors – usually at a higher cost
What are Adani’s claims against Ben?
In short, Adani has commenced proceedings against Ben where “they seek, among other things, damages for intimidation and conspiracy” as Ben “has caused the Galilee Blockade to demand that the contractors who have agreements with the applicants terminate those agreements or withdraw from negotiations for agreements”.
Ummmm, newsflash Adani, you’ve just described the entire #StopAdani movement!
Adani wanted to secretly raid the family home
It doesn’t stop at a lawsuit. Adani also secretly sought court orders to raid Ben’s family home. And when the judge denied the request, they tried again. That’s right – they tried twice to raid a family home, with school aged children – one with a disability.
Adani hired private investigators to follow Ben’s family
Hard to believe, but it gets worse. In order to “minimise impact of the raid” Adani had private investigators follow and take photographs of Ben and his 9yo daughter walking to school, and followed and photographed his wife at her place of business.
The lawsuit, through a temporary injunction has forced Ben out of the movement.
Whilst the lawsuit plays out, the court has placed a temporary injunction on Ben, essentially preventing on him being involved in the massive campaign to #StopAdani.
As a result, Ben is no longer with Galilee Blockade and we are deeply thankful for all the work he has dedicated to this campaign. We will miss his passion to protect the climate for us all.
No matter how long it takes, the #StopAdani movement will be behind Ben and his family throughout the entire process.
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