- Title: USA: Demonstrators turn out in New Orleans to protest BP oil spill
- Date: 31st May 2010
- Summary: VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING SIGNS (3 SHOTS) MAN STANDING ON BRITISH FLAG WOMAN WITH PIECE OF BOOM DRAPED AROUND HER NECK WILLIAM HORSWOOD AND CRAIG HANSON DRESSED IN COSTUME TO LOOK LIKE OIL SPILL CLEANUP WORKERS WOMAN IN CROWD HOLDING SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT WILLIAM HORSWOOD SAYING: "We just decided we'd do blood, because they've killed eleven already and counting. And so we decided we'd do caution tape, because they need , they need to be held accountable. It's ridiculous." (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ORLEANS RESIDENT JENNIFER JONES SAYING: "It's people here. We have not only just our culture and our music but we are human beings. Of course we are important. Any, all people are important and we have to be treated like that and we have to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done as a people, as a whole. So we need the help again, continuing from Katrina, this is like Part Two." DEMONSTRATION IN FRONT OF JACKSON SQUARE
- Embargoed: 15th June 2010 00:41
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA7APOXLRD1HEES0XWW17KTLHSN
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Demonstrators in New Orleans on Sunday (May 30) protested against British Petroleum (BP) and demanded the U.S. government do more to save the Gulf Coast from an out-of-control oil spill. Hundreds crowded on a set of steps in front of Jackson Square.
Demonstrators carried signs with references to BP, such as "Bitch, Please!" and "Seize BP." Many came wearing costumes and one man stood on top of a British flag. The failure on Saturday (May 29) of a "top kill" technique attempted by British-based BP to try to seal its leaking Gulf of Mexico well unleashed a surge of anger and frustration that poses a major domestic challenge for President Barack Obama. Seafood company owner Dean Blanchard addressed the crowd through a megaphone. He said he's laid off 65 of his 90 employees since the oil spill and will likely have to lay off the rest next week.
"Obama's a liar...he's either a liar or he doesn't understand the meaning of cash flow. Because the first speech he made in Venice, he said he would not let it interrupt our cash flow. When you don't get a penny, and you lose seven million dollars worth of sales in a month and you have to let off all them people, you know, come on. Somebody has got to explain to him, you know, it's not right what's going on. I didn't do nothing wrong. I didn't deserve this," Blanchard said, adding that he's considering moving his business to Mexico or Costa Rica.
Obama, who has called the leaking BP well a "manmade disaster", is trying to fend off criticism that his administration acted too slowly in its response to the nearly six-week-old spill, now known to be the worst in U.S. history.
Doctor John, a well-known New Orleans musician said he is outraged that BP is still allowed to control efforts to stop the leak.
"Killing eleven people is a crime and why are they still in charge of a crime site? I'm upset because they knew BP oil knew since March that the shut-off valves weren't working and the rubber was disintegrating around this...They're a big corporation and all they kept telling all the little people working on it was keep drilling," Doctor John said.
Ocean Springs, Mississippi resident Carroll Campbell traveled to the demonstration with her local Sierra club chapter. She said the government should take bold action.
"I support the idea of seizing BP's assets at this time to pay for the damage that's going to happen to the coastal states...Maybe this sounds Draconian, but I'd really like to see them made an example of globally for what's happened here," she said.
New Orleans residents William Horswood and Craig Hanson heard about the rally through the social networking web site Facebook. The couple dressed up as oil spill cleanup workers wearing protective gear drenched in oil and wrapped in caution tape.
Holding a parasol to block a light rain, Jennifer Jones said Louisianians still recovering from Katrina's devastation are frustrated by the oil spill response.
"All people are important, and we have to be treated like that, and we have to step up to the plate and do what needs to be done as a people, as a whole. So we need the help again, continuing from Katrina, this is like Part Two."
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