Gulf Coast Voices Speak Up in London

Citizens Affected by Oil Disaster Invite BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg On Tour of Gulf CoastAdd your voice to the call for justice for the GulfBryan Parras of TEJAS addresses BP AGM protest while Derrick Evans of Turkey Creek, MS looks on. Photo courtesy of Liana Lopez.the following is a post from the Gulf Coast Fund.April 12, 2012 London – Speaking in support of fishermen and residents of the Gulf Coast, citizen representatives today invited BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg and the BP board of directors to tour coastal communities still being harmed by the ongoing BP Oil Drilling Disaster.Derrick Evans, from Gulfport Mississippi explained,”It was good to meet with the BP Board member Ian Davis, who is the Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Committee and so has responsibility for ensuring the BP is keeping its promises to the people of the Gulf. However, we were disappointed to learn that he knew nothing about the problems we are facing on the ground. He has now agreed to visit the affected communities and see for himself what’s really happening. We look forward to helping him fulfill that promise.”NOAA and their partners have discovered dolphins in Barataria Bay are severely ill, and some are unlikely to survive. Recent research has confirmed that coral near the site of the oil gusher has been severely damaged and Auburn University scientists have found dangerous bacteria in tarballs. This is the second Annual General Meeting (AGM) held by BP since the 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon and the second year Gulf Coast citizens have traveled to London. Last year, in spite of having made proper arrangements to attend, residents were turned away at the last minute. Bryan Parras, of Houston Texas, was among those shut out of last year’s meeting. “Last year, I was barred from this meeting by BP’s security, along with other community representatives. While I was glad to be allowed in this year, I was insulted that the Chair tried to cut me off, and that the Board then completely ignored my question and instead reeled off their prepared PR spin. They claim that the spill has been cleaned up. This isn’t true. Oil is still impacting our communities, causing sickness, and triggering a collapse in fish stocks and local livelihoods. Many face overwhelming medical bills from illnesses associated with the spill and clean-up.” You can add your voice and send your message to the leadership of BP, demanding they follow through on their pledge to make the region and its people whole, by heading to this website.Bryan Parras is a leader of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, (t.e.j.a.s.) and Gulf Coast Fund Advisor. Bryan is from Houston, TX.Derrick Evans is the founder of Turkey Creek Community Initiatives (TCCI) and a Founding Advisor of the Gulf Coast Fund. Derrick is from Gulfport, MS.

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