Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day 2015

Today is the 45th Anniversary of Earth Day
This week is the 5th Anniversary of the BP Oil Disaster 
This year is the 10th Anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina & Rita

The View from a Mossville Fenceline.  Photo by R Hudson
Right now, There is a great dislocation happening in southwest Louisiana, the exodus of the people of Mossville Louisiana from the village built by their ancestors over 150 years ago. The community of Mossville is disappearing under the greedy footprint of Sasol, the South African Oil and Gas company, abetted by a complicit state government, indifferent to the needs and wishes of its most vulnerable citizens, those in the fenceline communities, near to oil refineries and chemical processors.  These communities, like Mossville, bear the burden of toxic exposures, and their citizens organize to protect their health as well as the air, land and water where they live.  Organizations like Mossville Environmental Action Now seek to protect all of us from predatory extractive industries that realize obscene profits while leaving devastation in their wake.

In the coming weeks this blog will describe the situation in Mossville and suggest multiple approaches to thinking about the dispossession of one of this country's oldest African-American communities from its land by an apartheid- era South African based oil and chemical processing giant.

Many African-American, Indigenous and working poor communities have disappeared through Louisiana state policies that favor industrial expansion over the rights of its citizens. Mossville, because of the decades-long organizing by its residents, provides important lessons for how we, who believe in the possibility of creating a safe and prosperous environment for all beings, can confront the predation of industry and support the important work of local and grassroots organizing, such as that of Mossville Environmental Action Now.

This weekend watch for a post on The Emergence of an American Petro-State.

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