Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

emergency summit on the gulf, Saturday!

CLICK IMAGE TO VIEW WEBCAST. A live webcast of the entire emergency summit can be viewed at Mobile Broadcast News, thanks to the formidable indymedia force, Flux Rostrum.

I attended the emergency summit on the Gulf on Saturday, to learn from the people of New Orleans and the Gulf. It was a summit called for by the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP). (I don’t know the RCP very well except through people I’ve known who have gone on crazy three-month carnival rides of organizing with them, then crashed worse than E junkies.) The summit had all the right people in the room. What was not completely there was a spirit of unity, but that’s a lot to ask of a summit that is trying to form into a coalition that actually puts “giving the group a name” on the agenda for the first summit. A protest on Monday came out of it, and that’s already a lot.

My favorite part of the summit was hearing from Jim Ayers, the former executive director of the Exxon Valdez Trustee Council.

“I’m a big believer in democracy. And I do not agree with a capitalist form of government that says that corporations steer public policy,” said Ayers. “We can’t just say a capitalist government is okay in an oil spill.”

Ayers said that, while he was directing the funds that Exxon paid to the communities that it damaged, he wished that he had listened more to the communities that he was serving. He cautioned all of us to jump early into the reparations process, or all control of the flow of funds will favor the corporations, not the people.

Also present was Cindy Sheehan, whose new organization is Peace of the Action. She said that people in the Gulf, just like the rest of humanity, has to make the shift to clean, safe, renewable energy. We should all be engaged in occupations that do not harm others.

We were blessed to hear from Kendra Arniston, the wife of a fisherman who has been impacted by the oil spill.

“We are expendable to these people. They can’t even run their own company and they are in charge of the response,” Arniston pointed out. “If the country does not stand up and say no more… we are going to lose our water.”

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