Alabama townspeople defeat lawsuit threatening to gag them in protest over toxins in landfill

Uniontown, Alabama residents won a victory against a landfill company who in a court-approved settlement dropped a $30 million defamation suit against them. A group of residents in this 90 percent black town were sued for speaking out against the company to stop them from continuing to dump coal ash in their town. The ash contains manganese, selenium and arsenic that was causing serious health problems to townspeople. (Inside Climate News, February 8, 2017, by Sabrina Shankman)

Backed by the ACLU, the residents stood up for their right to speak against the pollution with such statements on Facebook as “we should all have the right to clean air and clean water.” The landfill agreed to honor the residents’ right to speak out and to warn the town ahead of time on any plans to import toxic substances. (American Civil Liberties Union, February 9, 2017, by Lee Rowland)