Collaborative efforts in the Gulf Coast - How you can help
Over the last few months people across this great Gulf, and nation, have been organizing. I wish to make you aware of not only the effort, but of the possibility of your part in it, should you decide to answer the call.
The intent of the below actions are to be all-inclusive. The reason for that is, as my friend Fritzi said recently, “Sticks in a bundle cannot be broken”. There is a way for you to participate in saving the Gulf and her people - and further our world.
If your determination level leads you no further than passing information along, or using art to capture a spirit, or to write a letter to the President - than you, my hero, are a part of saving lives. It is not required that any one person do great and amazing things, but that every one enlightened person do something.
Below you will find an overall account of how you may decide to serve the movement. Please understand that you are not alone. Others on and off Facebook, and in other social media forums, citizens and organizations are helping, structuring and adding to these initiatives - we invite you to as well.
- Non-Violent Direct Action against BP-
August 4, 5:00 p.m. - BP Unified Command Center 1250 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA
Truth of the matter is, there are no guarantees that this will be the one deciding factor of change. We all know the reasons for the need to be engaged in this particular event. We know of the power of those whom we oppose. Moreover, we know the stakes that we have to lose. This will not be easy, and it most certainly will not be for the timid. But just once, just for once we have this opportunity to stand together and stake our claim to our future. And on our death beds, those in attendance can say, “We did not go silent. We did not live our life in fear. We stood.” And that, honestly, is the only way I intend to go.
How you can help:
- We are in desperate need to get this out to as many groups and people as possible. Please share across your email, through social media and within you circle of friends.
- We have a poster that we need to get out all along the coast, please either download or send your email asap, to receive a copy to print, copy and put out.
- Most importantly, we need courageous bodies there on that day, please make plans to attend and stand in solidarity with your neighbors.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=232311980135827
- Non-Violent Direction Action training -
July 30, 3:00 - 6:00. First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5212 S. Claiborne, New Orleans.
I have heard people who have attended these sort of workshops say that they have used these de-escalation type tactics for more than just non-violent protest. We hope that you will be able to come and learn about how to effectively handle situations such as these, and that you will be able to go back home and share with others.
How you can help: We need to get this out, as well, to as many groups and people as possible. Please share across your email, through social media and within you circle of friends.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=103262046438677
- Teach In for the Unification of Environmental Justice in the Gulf Coast -
August 4, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., First Unitarian Universalist Church, 5212 S Claiborne Street, New Orleans.
For decades now, the people of the Gulf Coast (and beyond) have been sacrificed at the altar of energy production and industrial pollution. Come and learn how we hope to be able to combine those fights and messages into one voice for justice. Remember what Bahaú’llah said, “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth”.
Lunch will be graciously provided by Louisiana Environmental Action Network and Lower Mississippi River Keepers. We will also be working in preparation of the action that afternoon. Please make plans to attend.
How you can help: Once again, please share across your email, through social media and within you circle of friends.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=218108584899412
- The X Change - Monthly Environmental Justice Newsletter -
From Mossville and Grand Bois, Louisiana, to Port Arthur, Texas, to Port Saint Joe, Florida, people across the Gulf are now in a fight for their lives. “X Change”, a free newsletter, will make its debut August 1 in hopes of sharing information on how you can help; and will lift up those Gulf Coast citizens dedicated to providing a safer world for us all.
How you can help: We need distributors, please message Cherri Foytlin or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address. You will be sent copies of the newsletter to distribute to libraries and business in your area. And please share event page widely.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205663532817310
- Operation Stephen Colbert -
9/11 First Responders tell us they never had a chance until they went on Jon Stewart. Well, we are not willing to wait ten years, after 1,000 people are dead. Join us today in supporting the initiative to get Gulf issues and citizens on The Colbert Report.
How you can help:
- Please share this press release to all local, national and international media http://www.facebook.com/note.php?created&¬e_id=253161788028026.
- Write a letter to: The Colbert Report, 513 W 54th St, New York, NY 10019
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=205663532817310
- Street Art For the Gulf Campaign -
Art has long been a very effective way to share information. Imagine the impact of street art across the nation - small and large towns, for one day displaying artwork concerning the continued need in the Gulf. This has the makings of a hug impact.
How you can help: Participate. You don’t have to be a Picasso to share inspiration.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=234708683218118
- Pressing the Press for Continued News Coverage of the 2010 Oil Catastrophe -
We already have health related PSAs running on 3 radio stations in Thibodeaux and New Orleans, Louisiana. This initiative will be an all-out blitz on media during the week of August 1, including op-eds, letters to the editor, pitches to reporters, magazines, television, radio, etc. Although the media has been largely silent, we do hold the key to loosening their tight lips, by challenge them to get involved, and remind them that we have the power via our remote and subscriptions.
How you can help: Write, post, contact all the forms of media channels, speak with power, we want the eye of the world back on the Gulf. Letters to the editors are also helpful.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=230463610327098
- A Well Oiled Net - Full Blitz Concerning the Gulf Oil Catastrophe of 2010
What a great tool we have at our disposal to get information to the masses. The great thing is that even major networks and politicians know this and are watching all the time for influences and information they can base their decisions on. Let’s share the talking points on the event page across the net.
How you can help: Spread the word, and photos, across all forms of social media and on the internet. Blog, post, tweet, share, and then share again. We can light up the internet for the Gulf.
Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=251322661547675
- Birthday cards for Obama - Gulf Wishes for You
Please understand this is not an attempt to either “slam” or “praise” the President. This is merely a creative way to get our information regarding the continuing needs of the Gulf in the public and administrative eye. Strategically, it is the date that is important because it is both the time when the press and Jane Lubchenco stated that the oil was gone and it is the President’s birthday. This is just another way to bring attention back to Gulf issues using current events to do so.
How you can help: Please send cards to The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20500 or email http://whitehouse.gov/contact
Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=129069947181364
- Gulf Coast Online Film Festival -
Few things have more power than film as an artform. Using photos, testimony, music, etc., we are asking folks across the nation and globe to put together a creative 5-minute piece exposing the issues of the Gulf, and when possible in connection to those in their own areas. This interactive campaign can be very powerful.
How you can help: Put your thinking caps on, grab a camera and get creative.
Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=232638240101205
Well, you have your mission(s). Will you pick up the call? Are you willing to be the “change you wish to see”?
If so, on behalf of the Gulf and her people, we sincerely thank you.
And remember… “If your determination is fixed, I do not counsel you to despair. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance.”
- Samuel Johnson
Cherri Foytlin is an oil worker's wife, mother of six, Louisiana resident and journalist whose family has been deeply impacted by the BP Oil Disaster and consequential moratorium on deep water drilling. She co-founded Gulf Change, blogs for www.BridgeTheGulfProject.org, and walked to Washington D.C. from New Orleans (1,243 miles) to call for action to stop the BP oil disaster. She has been a constant voice, speaking out to the Obama Administration's Gulf Oil Spill Commission, and in countless forms of media. Cherri will continue her fight for the industries, people, culture and wildlife of south Louisiana and the Gulf Coast "until we are made whole again."