Social and Economic Justice

By Monique Harden and Nathalie Walker, Advocates for Environmental Human Rights. As the Administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (“GCCF”), Kenneth Feinberg has denied all illness claims from the BP oil drilling disaster for lack of medical proof of causation.  However, Feinberg did not require such proof in his administration of the Agent Orange

 This new statement by the  Women’s Health & Justice Initiative condemns the irresponsible and demeaning use of drug testing to police the lives of welfare recipients.  We urge you to use the statement, and credit us, when addressing these intersecting issues, even if your political work is not centered around low-income women or women of color. 

On a beautiful late afternoon in early May, Dedrick Benison and Michael Calvin are quietly surveying the house that came crashing down around them just a week before.  On April 27th they were watching a movie here, a neighbor’s house on the catfish farm where the men live and work, near Forkland, Alabama.  Moments later a tornado collapsed the roof and ripped off the kitchen wall, sending furniture and splintered wood flying.

“I hate disasters,” Derrick Evans has said grumpily and repeatedly over the past several days.  As a resident of coastal Mississippi and a Gulf Coast advocate, Evans has been through situations like this before – Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, BP, to name a few. 

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:


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