Tonight we made our way to Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter to witness the New Orleans gathering of Worldwide Protest BP Day. The drizzling weather probably served to separate the men from the boys, as they say, and so good intentions and half-baked messages ran high (see photos from the protest on Fickr).
There were plenty of people opposed to the use of Corexit and one woman rightfully demanded to know why it was banned in Europe but still legal in the U.S. (read more about this issue on the ProPublica blog). There were accusations that the President was doing nothing and that everything should be left to the locals. There was another woman who pinned most of her argument on the psychological trauma children experience during disasters. There were boys who calmly asked us to stop driving and to contextualize this spill in terms of neoliberalism. There were cries that we needed to allow scientists more access (that was interesting).
I wondered what William Faulkner, that celebrated southern writer who once lived just up street from the protest (his home is now a quaint bookstore), would have said. One line of his comes to mind: A man’s moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.