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March 31, 2011

Trying to Pour Cement on Free Speech

When in doubt, sue for slander.

That's the advice taken by Titan, a cement company that is trying to push a new cement plant in Castle Hayne, outside Wilmington, North Carolina. Titan has sued two residents -- a mom and a pediatrician -- for what they said at a public county commissioners hearing, where regular people go to openly talk about neighborhood stuff -- ya know, like in a democracy. 

They must have had some pretty nasty things to say about Titan, right? Here's a snippet:

The bottom line is we know from numerous studies that if we build this thing, more children will get sick, a handful of them will die. We also know from the adult studies that more adults will get sick and quite a few more of them are going to die as well.

Hmmm, that kind of sounds accurate. Galvanized locals and community activists have rallied behind the two lawsuit recipients. Watch the video for more on this remarkable attack on free speech.

Speaking of Titan, the Stop Titan group -- in partnership with the Sierra Club -- last week hosted a hair cutting event for people interested in their mercury levels. These events are taking place all over the country. All you have to do is cut a little off the locks, send it in for testing, and a wait a few weeks for results. For more info on finding out your mercury level, click here. And watch this Good Morning America segment featuring Mary Anne Hitt, Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign Director.

-- Brian Foley

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