Judge Rejects Subpoena Request for Fracking Protestors Digital Communications

A district court judge in Denver has ruled to quash most of a subpoena that would have forced anti- fracking activists in Boulder County to turn over electronic communications.

The subpoena was part of a labor dispute case involving a woman who was fired from her job at Martin Marietta Materials against Anadarko petroleum. The multi-billion dollar corporation  supplies building materials to the oil and gas industry.

In the ruling the judge said: “the court does find that the production of all records sought would have a chilling effect.”

One of the activists who had been subpoenaed was Cliff Willmeng, a long-time anti-fracking activist and current candidate (Green Party) in the Boulder County Commissioner race. Willmeng says the judge’s ruling is a victory for free speech and a pushback on ongoing efforts to silence protestors.

“We’ve said all along and we know this that corporate power can not exist without the disenfranchisement of common people and most often with the outright repression of dissident people relating to that type of power.”



Listen to KGNU’s coverage of the subpoena:

Paula Oransky was a district sales manager for the multi-billion dollar corporation, Martin Marietta Materials and was fired on in October of last year after  she participated in protests of new oil and gas operations near her home in east Boulder County.

last year, Oransky protested at a public forum  held by Anadarko at the Erie Community Center where they were discussing their future drilling plans in the area, including 36 new wells within two miles of the Oransky home and her children’s elementary school.

She was on her own time when she participated in the protest at the forum and did not identify herself as an employee of Martin Marietta. After she was fired, Oransky sue Martin Marietta, claiming that she was terminated “without due process and in retaliation for her lawful off-work exercise of her state and federal constitutional rights of free speech, assembly,