Over 140,000 CREDO Action members — including you — told BP and the U.S. Coast Guard to stop burning sea turtles alive during oil cleanup efforts. With your help, CREDO Action was the first progressive group to organize widespread grassroots pressure to end this practice. You brought national attention to the issue, forcing BP and the Coast Guard to take action.
Faced with mounting pressure from a number of organizations and the press, BP and the U.S. Coast Guard have finally agreed to new measures to protect endangered sea turtles in the oil slick burning zones.
Read the news here: BusinessWeek: BP, Coast Guard Will Save Turtles From Oil Burns.
Though the details are still being worked out (and we’ll need to ensure that BP and the U.S. Coast Guard follow through on their agreement) we are confident that measures and procedures are being put in place to prevent endangered sea turtles and other wildlife from being burned during oil spill clean-up activities.
Clearly, there is still much work to be done to stop the oil spill, clean up the environmental devastation, address the economic disaster and ensure that BP is held accountable. But it’s important to recognize and celebrate this victory as we face the challenges ahead.
Your pressure works.
Becky Bond, Political Director
The big news this week was President’s Obama address yesterday at American University. In the speech, the President called for bipartisan leadership for a comprehensive fix to our broken immigration system. In a meeting with the President earlier in the week, advocates laid out ways that the President can show greater leadership for comprehensive reform, including enforcement reform, greater pressure on congress for legislative solutions and administrative relief. He responded to some of these demands in his speech; we’re pleased that the President is engaged and we hope that we’ll see strong and relentless leadership from the President going forward. For this to pass, the administration should make concrete commitments and engage in this debate the way they did in health care and financial regulatory reform.
Powerful Voices for Reform:
Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR), a group of prominent conservative leaders including several major Evangelical pastors, was also very vocal this week. Several members of CFCIR spoke at a press conference at American University following the President’s address, including Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Dr. Richard Land, President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Conference and Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Leith Anderson told the audience, “the reality is that we need to move toward bipartisan support and that we need to move toward specific legislation and that we need to join hands together to do that which I believe is biblical and right and in the best interests of the United States of America.” Next week, CfCIR will be holding its 6th national telephonic call in Miami discussing the way forward for conservatives for reform.
Some of these same members of the faith community took part in an unprecedented coalition of African American and Latino pastors at an event in Washington, DC. Their goal was to show the diverse support and unity for immigration reform. Derrick Harkins, senior pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and co-convener of the coalition said, “We have come together to dispel the ugly myths about a black and brown divide on immigration reform…Throughout our history, immigrants have strengthened our country with their hard work and commitment to core American values.” Everyday, the support for reform becomes broader and more diverse, and it is alliances like these that have never been seen before and that will lead us to a better future.
Move the Game:
Comprehensive Reform and the Deficit:
Comprehensive Reform and the Border:
You Can Help in AZ:
PAZ is looking for summer fellows to join the fight in AZ. As a Promise Arizona (PAZ) Fellow, you will help to make this a reality by working with local organizers to increase civic engagement of African Americans, Latinos and young people and build lasting relationships in the community. Together, we can ensure that our elected officials represent all of the people of Arizona. Over half a million Latinos are unregistered and we need your help to create the Arizona, and the America, that includes everyone in our democratic process. To apply, click here.
Thank you for all of your work this week. Let’s keep it up!
Rich Stolz and Nora Feely, Reform Immigration FOR America
Mariana Jiminez, a 71-year-old grandmother from the Ecuadorean Amazon, dips her hand into the oil-black water in the precious marshlands off Louisiana’s Gulf coast and holds a dying, oil-drenched crab in her hand. She warns of the petroleum-laced water, “This is very very dangerous. This is a poison that kills. Not instantly, but it will kill slowly.”
This week, four Indigenous and community leaders from Ecuador (Mariana, Emergildo, Humberto and Luis), as well as advocates from Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch, are deep in Louisiana’s sweltering Bayou witnessing the depth of BP’s oil disaster.
The Ecuadorean delegation has come to share the hard-won lessons from Chevron’s Amazon oil disaster with the United Houma Nation and Atakapa-Ishak tribes, American Indian communities dependent on a healthy Bayou for their very survival.
Every Indigenous person we meet expresses fear and anxiety about losing their ability to feed themselves and their families, and to continue their way of life on the water…all because of BP’s greed-driven failures.
These fears are by no means misplaced, as this is exactly what happened to the Indigenous peoples of Ecuador’s rainforest, at the hands of Chevron Corporation. They too used to fish, but had to start farming to sustain themselves. They spoke of the family members they’ve lost from oil-related birth defects and illnesses, and warned the Houma of the long-term health problems they will be facing long after BP and the TV cameras have left their shores.
As we walked along the deserted, oil-stained beach in Grand Isle, Brenda Dardar Robichaux, former Principal Chief of the United Houma Nation, explained how struck she was by the similarity of her story to the story of Indigenous peoples of the Ecuadorean Amazon.
From Louisiana’s Bayou to Ecuador’s rainforest, you see the same oil-sheened waterways and dying animals. You smell the same toxic stench in the air. Families nurse their loved ones through oil-related illnesses, respiratory diseases, and cancers while being told the same lie by oil companies and politicians alike- “the oil won’t hurt you.”
In the heart of Houma territory, these communities have come together to find ways to hold reckless, criminal oil companies like BP and Chevron accountable.
Thanks so much to all of you who donated to make this very special journey possible. You can follow the rest of the tour through the Gulf on We Can Change Chevron’s Facebook page and @ChangeChevron on Twitter.
P.S.Donate now to support Rainforest Action Network’s critical work to hold oil companies accountable and to support frontline communities from the Amazon to the Gulf.