For Immediate Release


Simon Davis-Cohen

REPORT: Corporations Are Suing Cities Across the USA

A new Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund report details a standard operating procedure of how corporate interests, and the politicians who serve them, retain power.

WASHINGTON - Just like the 2008 financial crisis, the federal government is once again bailing out corporate interests while leaving local communities (and their budgets) left out to dry. State and municipal public finances have been thrown into chaos. Movements are focusing their attention on municipal budgets. 

Compounding the economic crisis, cities are getting sued for attempting to limit the fossil fuel industry, expand worker benefits, heighten discrimination protections, and for taking action on a slew of other issues. Examples abound – Mora County, New Mexico has been sued by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell; New York City by Uber; Minneapolis by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce; and Austin, Texas by the National Federation of Independent Business, and the Texas Attorney General. This new report outlines how such corporate (and state) backlash to local activism is far from an anomaly. Rather, it is standard operating procedure.


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The report gives a list of real-life examples where these dynamics are made visible. The list is anecdotal and should not be treated as a comprehensive survey. More have popped up since this report was initiated. However, the report does show a pattern that reveals how the corporate form enjoys protection from local governance.

The report can be found here:


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The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit, public interest law firm providing free and affordable legal services to communities facing threats to their local environment, local agriculture, local economy, and quality of life. Its mission is to build sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.

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