August 2011

For more than a year, I’ve watched Gulf Coast residents suffer through the worst oil spill in history, their lives turned upside down by the shock and emotional trauma of BP’s oily assault. But through these agonizing times I’ve also grown to love and appreciate the Gulf environment and its people. I’ve vowed to take my two young daughters to witness firsthand the beauty of the bayou threatened by the encroaching waves of the Gulf.

On August 23 a delegation of more than 20 Gulf Coast citizens, including myself, BP first responder clean-up workers, fishermen and community organizers will be traveling to Washington D.C. to join our voices with indigenous leaders, scientific experts, celebrities and environmentalists in opposing the proposed Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.

By Bill Quigley.  Cross-posted from Huffington Post.

Six years ago, Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf coast. The impact of Katrina and government bungling continue to inflict major pain on the people left behind. It is impossible to understand what happened and what still remains without considering race, gender and poverty. The following offer some hints of what remains.

More than a year after the BP well was plugged, Gulf coast residents now face an oil threat from a new direction; a proposed 1700-mile pipeline that would provide a steady stream of raw Canadian tar sands crude from Alberta to huge polluting refineries in Texas. That’s raised the ire of Gulf residents who refuse to be the dumping ground for more dirty and dangerous oil industry operations.   

Political power has shifted to whites, but blacks have not given up their struggle for a voice -- and justice. Originally published on The Root.  As this weekend’s storm has reminded us, hurricanes can be a threat to U.S. cities on the East Coast as well the Gulf. But the vast changes that have taken place in New Orleans since Katrina have had little to do with weather, and everything to do with political struggles.

The Norwood Thompson playground is a gathering place for all ages in Gert Town.  It is a place of fellowship for residents of this New Orleans neighborhood, and provides a break for working mothers to spend time with their children.

But it is also destined and designed as an accident waiting to happen. As you will hear and see from the children and adults who use it, the playground is an environmental health hazard.

Right after Hurricane Katrina, newly homeless New Orleanians gathered on Claiborne Avenue under Interstate 10, and lived under tents and blankets. Some worked in hotels in the French Quarter and the Central Business District, but still didn’t make enough to pay for a place to live.  For a time, their numbers went down.  But now, six years after the storm, homeless folks are under the Claiborne Bridge, and under the Earhart Bridge, in large numbers again.



Originally published on IPS.  Written by Lily Hough. 

WASHINGTON, Jul 28, 2011 (IPS) - When news of the disastrous BP oil well explosion reached the residents of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana last April, Mayor Tim Kerner did the only thing he could think of to stop the oil from destroying his community. He encouraged everyone in his town to join him on the water, working day and night throughout the disaster to clean-up the spill.

10:00am CST - 1:00pm CST - Teach-In For Unification for Environmental Justice in the Gulf Coast - Location: First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans, 5212 Claiborne, New Orleans, LA - All are invited to share and learn what various organizations and communities are doing and ways we can best unite the Gulf Coast to ensure justice for those continuously affected by irresponsible industries, concerning spills, chemical plants, toxic waste dumps, oil refineries, and more. Speakers include: Dr. Mike Robichaux, 2005 Robert F.

"Deficiency Letter on Interim Payment/Final Payment Claim".  The wording is ominous, but John Gooding, who is visibly ill, is not surprised.  He's received them before and has a feeling he'll be receiving more.  The letter further stated that John was missing documentation necessary to prove he has been "diagnosed with a physical injury/death that resulted from the Spill".  Illness claims are processed under the general GCCF category of physical injury/death cla