Voices from the Gulf

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All individuals have the right to equality, equal opportunity, fair treatment and an environment free of pollutants. What we have seen in the Gulf, and around the world, is an infringement upon both our civil rights and our human rights.  So the question is: What are you going to do about it?

To the people of the United States of America:

For a thousand years, Rosina Philippe and her aunt Geraldine Philippe's families fished and hunted in the Louisiana bayou. As members of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation, they have thrived along the lush marshes and canals of Mississippi River delta, surviving on the fertile environment that sustains and nurtures their lifestyle.

Then the BP oil disaster struck last summer, and things have never been the same.

New Orleans -- In an emotional public meeting yesterday, citizens from across the Gulf Coast urged the President's oil spill commission to help solve the growing health crisis here -- and got a pledge of support in return.

Yesterday, an icy wind whipped through the French Quarter. But inside the New Orleans Sheraton, the atmosphere was hot.

That’s where 250 people gathered to attend a forum sponsored by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Appointed by President Obama, it had just released its final report after a six-month investigation into the nation’s worst oil disaster in history.

Last week, Hurricane Katrina survivors packed two Greater New Orleans churches and voiced some of the frustration, anger, and hurt that they’ve been nursing over the “Road Home” recovery program.  The public meetings, in St. Bernard parish and New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, were held to inform residents about inequities and corruption in the housing program.