Today: Minorities Rally against BP
Press release from Operation People for Peace Inc. Houma, LA (October 19, 2011) - Dick Gregory-Actor/Comedian and Human rights Activist, Dr. E. Faye Williams, National Congress of Black Women-Chair, and Art Rocker, Operation People for Peace-Chair are convening a meeting with ministers, community activist, and others in Houma, Louisiana concerning the lack of payments by BP’s Ken Feinberg. This meeting will be held Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at New Rising Sun Baptist Church at 230 Saint Charles St. Houma, Louisiana 70361 with Facilitator -Rev. Byron Clay, Jr. of New Orleans, Louisiana. A press conference will be held at 7:30pm. This Group will depart from Houma, Louisiana at 11pm and head to BP Headquarters in Houston, Texas after the meeting and rally ends.
As you know we are facing tremendous challenges in view of the BP oil spill disaster that occurred on April 23, 2010 in the Gulf Coast Region. An Oil Spill that is now threatening our shores unlike anything we have ever previously experienced. Operation People for Peace has organized over 10,000 plus claimants with 100’s from the Houma and surrounding areas. The organization has been classified as one of the most effective organizers of low-income workers who have been neglected in the claims payments of the affected spill states. BP Czar Ken Feinberg has stated that these are all legitimate, not bogus claims. Feinberg requested that these claimants be organized by this group of ministers from day one of his inception as BP Czar for payments, but now he stalling in paying the claimants. These are the people who are no longer employed in their service jobs: landscapers, dishwashers, servers, laborers, carpenters, plumbers and assistants, janitors, taxi drivers, teachers, people who cook fish on the side, mothers who babysat the workers' children, small churches and pastors who lost their tithes. Also, barbers, beauticians and helpers in their shops and many others. Many individuals were severely damaged and have not been compensated for their losses, despite our best efforts to date. Most of these people are minority and poor people who BP has chosen to ignore while settling with other people who are well connected politically.
Those who represent the underserved have held many meetings with the Administrator- Ken Feinberg, who is responsible for handling these claims. This group even traveled to London, England to the BP Headquarters during the week of August 2-4, 2011 and demanded a meeting with BP's President and CEO, Robert Dudley. When he refused to meet with them, they picketed the Headquarters. The group told Mr. Dudley that “He can run, but he cannot hide from this group.” This group has tried everything humanly possible to get the attention of BP's bosses so they could solve the problems of the many people they have damaged. BP keeps sending them back to Feinberg as the person who has the authority to settle the claims. They feel they can ignore the underserved because in their eyes, the underserved have no power.
Also, BP needs to be inclusive of all cities in the Gulf Coast Region without discriminating cities by lack of inclusion for funding in the poor minority cities. Dick Gregory and Art Rocker combined have been to jail several times protesting against BP and vow to continue their actions.
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