On April 20, 2010, a reckless attitude towards the safety of the Gulf Coast by BP caused a well to blow out 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. “People should be aware that the oil is still there,” says Wilma Subra, a chemist who travels widely across the Gulf. The reality she is seeing on the ground contrasts sharply with the image painted by BP.
There has not been any concrete effort to expose the banks that collude and connive with corrupt leaders who are impoverishing the people. No effort has been made by the political elite in Europe and America to force the banks to return these stolen monies to the poorest of the poor.
One year after an earthquake devastated Haiti, much of the promised relief and reconstruction aid has not reached those most in need. Less than 2% of the $267 million spent so far has gone to Haitian firms, the rest to "masters of disaster," big U.S. firms that hire Haitians to do the back-breaking work for $5 a day.
When the now infamous offshore BP oil rig first blew up, some called it another Katrina and many of us took that as an insult. The pain and suffering caused by Hurricane Katrina (August 2005) were biblical and were fanned by the slow response of our own federal government. But the BP oil spill is a monster that is growing exponentially by the day.
Triple Canopy, a private military company with extensive security operations in Iraq and Israel, is advertising for business in Haiti. Jeremy Scahill reports on a number of bloody incidents involving Triple Canopy, including one where a team leader told his group, “I want to kill somebody today … because I am going on vacation tomorrow.”
They shoot us, then display us as looters. / Then they bring in the U.N. and the rest of the U.S. friends, / Blackwater forces who now go under the new name Xe, / Who, like a fatal disease, once they get in, they don’t / Never plan on leaving. ... / Haiti! The land of my brotherman … and sister woman, / The ones that kicked Napolean’s ass, / The land of sugar cane and Africans, / The land in which the enslaved revolt.
The law of unintended consequence works in our favor some of the time. A few weeks ago the Congress of the United States fell all over itself trying to sanction ACORN. As you remember, ACORN is a community-based organization that helps the poor throughout the country. It also registers voters. The reason for the sanction was that some members of the organization were accused of giving some illegal advice. It turns out that such a company specific sanction is unconstitutional. This law must apply to any government contractor, not just ACORN.
Many of us see, within the Bayview Hunters Point district and without, strategic similarities in the wars being waged in Iraq, in New Orleans and here in our own home town.