FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Six Gulf Protectors Arrested Challenging Gulf Oil Drilling

by

quigleyarrest

Six Gulf Protectors were arrested outside the New Orleans office of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  They were taken into custody by Federal Protection Service agents of the Department of Homeland Security during an action by Nonewleases.org urging President Obama to cancel oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We began the event in solidarity with those from the Sioux Nation who are standing up to the Dakota Access pipeline,” said Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, one of the organizations participating.  “As Gulf Protectors we are calling on President Obama to live up to his climate legacy and permanently cancel future leases in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The six arrested were: Alicia Cooke, Danil Faust, Alison Kalnik, Ben Quimby, Noah Rahman, and Reverend Jim Vanderweele.  Booked on federal charges of obstructing an entrance to a federal building, they were advised they have to each pay a fine of $530 or go before federal court for trial.

Alicia Cooke, a member of 350 Louisiana, explained why she was willing to be arrested.  “To maintain a livable climate, experts estimate that around 80% of existing fossil fuel resources must stay in the ground.  At current consumption levels, we need to place an immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel infrastructure projects and we also must scale back on existing projects.  The industry and government executives who dismiss our concerns out of hand because we drive fuel-powered vehicles or use air conditioning are missing the point.  A transition to a renewable energy economy at the speed required by science will not be easy for any of us.  It will take a full-hearted acceptance of climate science and an enormous collective will.  But when you look at the climate math, it is quite literally our only choice.”

Iris Carter of Concerned Citizens of Norco explained why she was there to protect the Gulf.  “Oil is killing people. Just look at my own family. I grew up between a Shell refinery and a Shell chemical plant and when my mother and sister got sick, the doctors asked if we lived near pollution. It’s not fair. And now people have to go and fish in the Gulf – after oil companies leave all that mess. Look what they left from the spill that BP did. That was bad. And it’s no better. They keep going out and drilling and spilling in our Gulf. And that’s just not right.”

Cheri Fotlin of BOLD Louisiana challenged the feds for excluding the public. “The head of BOEM, Abigail Hopper, had promised to come down and meet directly with our communities who continue to be adversely affected by oil production in and along the Gulf. At the last minute, she backed out. Additionally, BOEM recently stopped allowing public participation at point-of-sale lease auctions. At every turn our voices have been oppressed by this federal agency. We deserve to be heard. If she won’t come to us, then we have no choice but to go to BOEM ourselves to make our wishes known. We want protection. We want respect for our lives. No new leases, not here, not anywhere!”

Four others were arrested in August at the same place and charged with state criminal trespass.  Their trial is still pending.

The group promises to return and escalate their actions to protect the Gulf.

More articles by:

Bill Quigley teaches law at Loyola University New Orleans and can be reached at quigley77@gmail.com.

February 22, 2018
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail