With Feb. 1 New Orleans citywide elections rapidly approaching, it is apparent that only one City Council District C candidate, Eloise Williams, is running on an Occupy New Orleans human rights campaign platform for the 99%.
Eloise Williams, 73, is calling for a $15 an hour minimum wage; Medicaid Expansion/Medicare for All; limiting rents to no more than 30% a family's income; making N.O. an immigrant deportation free zone; jailing all killer cops, corrupt public officials and contractors; reopening all murder cold cases; and a public works program that pays a living wage open to all needing it.
Williams is a lifelong working class New Orleanian, African American and mother of six.
For decades, at the grassroots level, Williams has strongly advocated for justice -- for workers, homeless, racial minorities, victims of police brutality -- and against U.S. militarism, including the petrochemical military-industrial complex's 2010 Gulf murder.
Because the Gulf oil "spill" crimes continue to impact all Americans eating Gulf seafood and vacation in its waters and on its shores, the New Orleans election is of national interest.
On New Year's Eve, more of BP's poisonous, carcinogenic tar balls washed ashore the Gulf Coast, as they've been doing for nearly four years.
Deaths, miscarriages, deformities surged in Williams' hometown after 2010 Gulf crime
In 2012, approximately 80 battered and bruised people gathered one windy February afternoon in downtown New Orleans at BP headquarters to mourn the death of the Gulf of Mexico. There, they prepared for their “murdered Gulf” funeral procession, organized by Occupy New Orleans.
Those 80 survivors aimed to draw attention to ongoing Gulf region human rights abuses since April 20, 2010, when the petrochemical-military industrial-complex operation overtly began.
That day, Williams told this author at the funeral, that since April 2010, there’s been a surge in deaths, miscarriages and deformities in her home town, Cut Off, Louisiana. (Vampire of Macondo)
Cut Off is in the over 200-mile stretch of the nation’s Cancer Alley.
99% for Eloise Williams for New Orleans City Council District C Campaign
“We’re living in two realities here on the Gulf,” said activist Elisabeth Cook that day during the funeral's opening remark. “There’s the 'Safe Gulf' myth and there’s reality that thousands of people are ill and dying; oil continues to flow; and dolphins and fish wash up on Gulf beaches every day.”
[See: Murdered Gulf trial, Occupy Funeral Possession with video]
“I'm a Coon-ass, not a dumb-ass,” remarked another participant, CJ, adding that neither he nor his friends are buying lies about the Gulf being safe.
“I’ve written to newspapers to explain what’s happening there and none of those reporters will write about it,” Williams told Dupré that day. “Cut Off used to have white people living there, but it’s as though they move away in the night.”
Now, Williams says, only African Americans are left living in Cut Off.
While many survivors hoped for a settlement, Williams and other human rights defenders at the funeral agreed that settling was no answer. They said settling would help prevent a full investigation into alleged criminal acts resulting in immediate deaths of 11 men aboard the Deepwater Horizon oilrig and the untold number of others who have died or will die prematurely from Corexit and crude oil physical assaults on their bodies.
Kindra Arneson, a state leader of the crusade to end ongoing human rights abuses along the Gulf Coast since the 2010 oil event began, was among rights advocates there that day with Williams.
“I walk into some of our parents’ homes and their counter-tops are filled with medications for their children,” explained Arnesen.
“The government's not protecting the people. They're protecting the corporations,” she had told ABC News.
Williams was also there standing side-by-side with dozens of survivors from across the Gulf Coast, including sick and suffering people from Florida and Alabama, meeting in front of BP headquarters that afternoon. They yelled chants at people walking out of the BP building. One funeral attendee risked arrest by handing the group's list of ten demands to BP officials.
"Stop carpet-bombing the region and its people with Corexit," was high on the list of demands. [Almost two years after the oil crime, Corexit, that made BP's oil 52 times more lethal, was till being sprayed. (see: Vampire of Macondo)] Two other demands related to Corexit: full disclosure about how much of the lethal chemical had been applied and holding Corexit manufacturer NALCO accountable for damages to marine and human life.
Some funeral attendees were physically marked with antibiotic resistant sores. Others were visibly shaking with neurological disorders, new conditions that had already killed an untold number of people exposed to the new oil and Corexit unleashed in the Gulf, along the Gulf Coast and even in back yards.
“Neurological recovery from transient poisoning is sometimes possible but damage from chronic toxic exposure often is permanent,” neuroscientist Dr. Paul Brown of Morgantown, West Virginia told Dupré after the funeral. “Persistent presence of neurological toxins causes progressive brain damage.”
In a heart-wrenching address by the Gulf casket that day, John Gooding represented the untold number of people neurologically damaged from the Gulf Operation. He suffered a visibly severe resting tremor, couldn’t work and said his family would now be better off financially if he were dead rather than disabled as he was. His condition was too far advanced for detoxing to help.
The 99%'s candidate gaining momentum
In Dec., the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO announced plans to back Williams in the upcoming citywide elections.
Today, the reader can also help give voice to the voiceless of New Orleans. Forward this link. Be at Café Flora, 2600 Franklin St., N.O. Friday, Jan. 10 for a meeting of the 99% for Eloise Williams for District C Campaign.
Williams' City Council success means giving a voice to New Orleanians’ voiceless.
“Vampire of Macondo, Life, crimes and curses in south Louisiana that Powerful Forces Don’t want you to know,” is Deborah Dupre’s most recent book: 450 pages packed corporate media censored stories about the BP-wrecked Macondo Prospect crime in the Gulf of Mexico continuing its catastrophic human and environmental devastation. Watch the book video trailer here.