April 2011

March 31st, 2011 - Civil rights activist Catrina Wallace, who received national acclaim for her central role in organizing protests around the Jena Six case, was convicted today of three counts of distribution of a controlled substance. She was taken from the courtroom straight to jail after the verdict was read, and given a one million dollar bail. Her sentencing is expected to come next month.

Gaines of Lucedale, Mississippi, a former BP oil disaster clean-up worker who has fallen ill, rallies thousands of youth outside of BP's lobbying headquarters.

On Monday, April 18th, Tax Day, thousands of youth marched on  BP's offices in Washington, and demanded they pay the $9.9 Billion in taxes they are dodging by writing off loses from their own oil disaster.

oil in bay jimmy - april 18, 2011The nation's attention has drifted back to the Gulf for a moment, prompted to remember the disaster that the Chilean miner drama knocked from the headlines. Why? because it's been 365 days since the Deepwater Horizon exploded, ending the lives of 11 men and changing the Gulf of Mexico forever.  Our nation, our media is drawn to anniversaries.

Originally posted on IPSNews.net. Days after the BP oil disaster began, on Apr. 20, 2010, BP and the U.S. administration pledged that Gulf Coast communities would be made whole. One year later that promise remains unfulfilled: across the Gulf there is a developing health crisis as a result of the oil spill.

Our state and federal governments, and BP itself, must demonstrate the will to take actions promised a year ago.

Last weekend in Washington, D.C., more than 100 Gulf Coast residents called for action from President Obama and Congress to make BP pay for its ongoing disaster, and to clean up and restore the Gulf Coast.  The contingent was part of Power Shift 2011, a youth climate summit and organizing training, nearly 10,000 people strong.  Watch the top five videos from the historic summit, as children, students, workers, advocates, and whistleblowers challenged big polluters and too

The anniversary of the country’s worst oil disaster came and went last week. There was a brief frenzy of media attention, a litany of speeches and promises by politicians, and emotional memorials  in honor of the 11 men who died in the Deepwater Horizon’s fiery explosion a year ago.

But for many in the Gulf struggling to regain their livelihoods, life is far from normal, the future far from certain. Even though one-year anniversaries are great for bringing people together to share their stories, their grieving and their hopes, it hasn’t stopped the dying.

Thanks to BP and Kenneth Feinberg, the fisherman and their wives of Alabama's coastal Coden community are still faced with standing in food give-out lines one year after the BP Oil Spill. This should make BP, Mr. Feinberg and our elected officials very proud to be in America. Will this be our community celebration two years later?  Standing in a food give-out line because our gulf waters are still polluted with oil?

More than 60 miles north of the flashy beach casinos of Biloxi, MS, you come to a place where the earth turns to reddish clay and the lush green fields are stripped of their timber. It’s a place where locals struggle with high unemployment in the most poverty stricken state in the country. The lifespan of an African American born today in Mississippi is the same as an average American in 1960.

Linda Hooper-BuiBy Linda Hooper-Bui,  225 - Nearly a year ago, we were driving home from a Florida vacation when my husband and I explained the Macondo well gushing in the Gulf to our three-year-old.