Voices from the Gulf

Showing stories 601 through 610 of 776 total stories.

Community Condemns Intimidation of Community Leaders During Prayer Vigil.  Demand to Gusman: Guarantee Sheriff’s officers will not retaliate against Day Laborers Exercising their First Amendment Rights.  Crossposted from

When I first saw Paul Doomm at a health forum of Gulf residents in New Orleans, he was flat on his back, gasping for air from a seizure that had suddenly overcome him. His mother, father and 11-year old brother were at his side consoling him in the meeting hall of the First Unitarian Church, trying to keep his head from banging against the hard floor as his body went into convulsions.

For more than 30 years, Sarah and her daugher Annette Rigaud owned one of the most popular eateries on Grand Isle, LA. Sarah’s Restaurant is a cozy place filled with mementoes of sun-splashed beach vacations and fishing trips. It was a prosperous business, part of a proud family lineage that dates back to the colonial days of the 1700s here. The Rigauds have endured hurricanes, droughts, disease outbreaks and pirates that once roamed these marsh-filled ocean bayous.

Then the BP oil disaster washed ashore last summer.

“My name is Sharon Hanshaw… I’m a native of Biloxi, Mississippi.  I was a cosmetologist for twenty-one years… and Hurricane Katrina hit.  Hurricane Katrina just sped my life into this whirlwind of activism.  I had no choice but to step up, and try to make sure that our voices were heard in the recovery process, now and in the future.”

In the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, communities across the Gulf Coast began to meet, share experiences, and work together across previous geographic and racial divides.  Now facing new and ongoing challenges like the BP oil disaster, hurricane "recovery" efforts, and coastal land loss, these communities continue to rely on and strengthen these relationships.

More than a 100 residents from across the state filled the hearing room at the [Mississippi] State Capitol as the discussion devoted to airing longstanding grievances over deadly chemical wastes – particularly creosote – left for decades in unsuspecting residential neighborhoods by large manufacturers like Kerr-McGee that have either packed up and gone or changed their names and continue to do business as usua

Drive down this short stretch of St. Bernard Avenue, and you will see signs of a struggling neighborhood in despair. Bars, blighted homes, metal-grated storefronts, and the still-shuttered Circle Food Store tell the story of this strip.  Here in New Orleans’ 7th ward, hope and sustenance have been drained by Katrina’s floodwaters, and by decades of racism’s insidious trend of sapping vital resources from a community.

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