A very narrow vote tonight in St James 4 to 3 to uphold the planning commissions approval of the permit for BBP. While disappointing the struggle is not over. We will continue to fight the pipeline. A disturbing aspect of the council hearing however was the entire community of St James was only given 15 minutes to speak while ETP got last minute unlimited time to show a PowerPoint presentation. Etp did not answer residents questions at the “information meeting” 2 weeks ago and resident were not allowed to question them tonight
If ETP or St. James parish officials had been wearing hoods or carrying a nazi flag then there would have been mass marches in the street after this vote, but they didn’t. Neither do community leaders or corporations across the nation. What they do is consistently use their power to put the most toxic, oppressive and unjust projects in poor, black, or brown areas. What they do is overlook an epidemic of two-year-olds and grandmothers with cancers, in this case, straight to the dollars ETP set on the table.
They don’t even ask if that’s the best this company can do. Why? Because they don’t live there – ain’t their grandmother, ain’t their two-year-old. Just the lives of a bunch of poor black folks that all these white men are going to profit off of, nothing different in the last 300 years or so about that.
Shoot, they don’t even have enough vision for a ‘no’ vote, so they can at least negotiate a evacuation route for these good people from ETP. Costs less to let them be gassed, I suppose. Not that this corporation would care, black and brown life is cheap to ETP, no other company has proven that more.
Then ETP, they send their white folks to talk to the parish white folks about a community none of them live in. They had a beautiful presentation for them. Yet less than two weeks before, those same suckers came to a meeting for the public in St. James and refused to answer one single question for these residents – not one. They sat there with their arms folded and said NOTHING.
Do you see? It’s not just about showing up when Nazis march in the street, because that’s not necessarily where most heinous acts of racism happen. They happen in court chambers, city planning meetings, school boards, and council meetings, all over this nation, and every single day.
I say it’s time to stand up to racist, classist, corporations like Energy Transfer Partners. The hoods and flags they hide behind may be money, but we still see them.
September 9, let’s come together to #StopETP.
Learn more about last night’s vote here: http://www.theadvocate.com/…/article_75ce88a4-885e-11e7-b19…
Sign up to host a Stop ETP event here: http://stopetp.org/
Photo credit: Julie Dermansky