Voices from the Gulf

Showing stories 1 through 10 of 812 total stories.

By Daryl Khan and Clarissa Sosin

This story originally appeared on Juvenile Justice Information Exchange.

BATON ROUGE, La. — The young woman sat on a mattress in the middle of the floor of her bedroom in North Baton Rouge. Open in front of her was the diary she started after her friend, Jordan Frazier, was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge Police officer during a traffic stop. The entry was dated June 27, 2017, just more than a week after his death.

Iraq war veteran and pipeline opponent Ramon Mejia was trying to stop Energy Transfer Partners from illegally constructing a pipeline on a cypress tree-covered swath of land deep in Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin when St. Martin Parish Sheriff's deputies arrived.

A photo of a Bayou Bridge pipeline construction crew shows a worker flashing what some say is a white-power gesture aimed at water protectors.

The worker, who was on a boat traveling down Bayou Chene in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin, can be seen forming a circle with his thumb and index finger. His remaining three fingers are raised. Hats worn by several other workers on the boat identify them as employees of Spartan Directional, a contractor for the project.

For the past two years, Africatown natives and supporters have been developing plans along with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) creating a design plan for a trail network that would link the Africatown community to the proposed Africatown State Park, a 150 acre parcel of undeveloped, city owned land located 10 miles west of Africatown.

Water protectors engaged in a tree sit in the Atchafalaya Basin say some local and state law enforcement agencies in Louisiana are refusing to protect them from what they call aggressive and dangerous actions by Bayou Bridge pipeline workers.

In a letter sent to the St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police and the office of Governor John Bel Edwards, attorneys for the water protectors formally advised the agencies of “serious ongoing health and safety concerns for people protesting the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline”.

Aiming to protect Louisiana communities and residents, water protectors say they are stopping construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline by engaging in multiple tree-sits deep in the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest swamp in North America.

Tree-sitters say they’ve been living in trees in the pipeline's path for several weeks and will not move until the St. James community has an evacuation route and the swamp's cypress trees are protected.

Construction on the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline is continuing near the historic and predominately black community of St. James despite a judge’s ruling that the state illegally granted the company a coastal use permit by not considering impacts the project will have on area residents.

Pages