Alabama

Two days after a tornado tore through Eupora, Mississippi, Cherraye Oats set out with her daughter Courtney to get tarps for their neighbors’ battered homes.  Oats’ house was spared, but the mobile home 20-year-old Courtney rented was destroyed.  “If my daughter had not spent the night with us, we probably would have been burying her.”

Last Friday I was invited down to New Orleans to take part in the festivities surrounding the opening of the BP Deepwater Oil Catastrophe whistle-blowing documentary, “The Big Fix.” The film, which was directed by husband and wife team Rebecca and Josh Tickell, also featured Peter Fonda, Jason Mraz and Amy Smart.

In the aftermath of BP oil drilling disaster, it seemed that an overwhelming (albeit needed) amount of attention was given to restoring the environment, protecting animals, and the money – always the money.  Very little attention was given to actually providing health care to people impacted by the oil disaster or the response to the disaster.

By Zack Carter, South Bay Communities Alliance. Remarks delivered on Tuesday, June 21st at commerical fisherman Christopher LaForce's funeral.  I am privileged that Christopher’s family asked me to speak today to help us honor the legacy he leaves for us. Indeed I am humbled to speak today because I know there are so many of you all that have known and loved Christopher La Force much longer than I.

We are deeply saddened to report that Christopher LaForce, a commercial fisherman from Bayou La Batre, Alabama and friend of Bridge The Gulf, passed away last week on his shrimp boat.  He was 44 years old.

Christopher was a passionate, outspoken advocate for commercial fishermen, especially in the wake of the BP disaster.  "I wasn't raised to bite my tongue," he said last Fall, "This is our life."

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