First Steps

I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures. –Geronimo

Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers. –Tecumseh

It is up to us: do we fight, or do we die as broken people, uprooted and exploited, without a place to call home?

  • We can begin by NOT volunteering in the clean-up efforts. Make BP pay us to clean up their mess; don’t do it for free!
  • We can begin by blocking roads, like LA 1, which is a critical link in the offshore oil industry, until the federal government gives us a larger share of royalties, and allows our community to make decisions about what are acceptable risks for oil drilling.
  • We can begin by showing the documentary Sweet Crude about MEND in every town in South Louisiana, and discussing the parallels of the two situations with our friends and neighbors.
  • We can begin by occupying the offices of oil companies and related businesses (such as Dubai-based Halliburton) until they stop buying and corrupting our political system, and more fairly compensate the people harmed by decades of drilling and the current BP disaster.
  • We can begin by occupying the offices of agri-businesses whose pollutants have ruined our river and whose lobbying has resulted in policies upriver that harm our communities, which have never paid a dime in compensation for the risks they thought were acceptable for us.
  • We can begin by blockading or occupying refineries, where cancerous flares of chemicals and toxic sludge poison our communities on a daily basis.
  • We can begin by blocking shipping lanes with our boats, including the Mississippi River, one of the most important locations for raw materials imports in the U.S. (raw materials no doubt obtained at the cost of people somewhere else continuing to live on their land). The brave people of Bayou La Batre, Alabama have already blocked shipping lanes there twice in protest.
  • We can begin by organizing ourselves and protesting, like the 500 people who gathered in New Orleans to demand BP and the government stops destroying our coast, or like the protestors in New York who blockaded a BP gas station to speak to the corporation in the only language they understand: money.
  • We can fill BP trailers full of shit (yay Grand Isle!), we can damage their property, and we can make doing business (i.e.- risking our lives) much harder for oil companies.
  • We can begin by organizing our communities into popular assemblies where WE make the decisions about things that affect our lives, and where we take care of our community as a whole to ensure it survives to see tomorrow.