Dick Gregory, Fellow Activist Arrested in DC Protest Against BP Oil
ByShevry Lassiter | , WI Staff Writer | 9/2/2011, 11:08 p.m.
A handful of BP stockholders gathered on Fri., Sept. 2, in front of the Willard Office Building in Northwest to protest the failure by attorney Ken Feinberg, the government-appointed administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund, to settle claims filed by minority victims of the historic Gulf Coast oil spill. A boycott against BP was announced during a brief press conference held during the protest.
Art Rocker, chairman/facilitator of Operation People for Peace, an organization representing more than 400 churches, hundreds of ministers and some 500,000 underserved parishioners, along with human rights activist Dick Gregory and Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq., chair of the National Congress of Black Women, have joined forces to assist people seeking compensation for loss of their livelihood as a result of the 2010 Gulf Coast disaster.
According to Rocker, Feinberg agreed through a series of meetings which took place over the past 11 months to make settlement of claims filed by the poor and underserved.
"More than a year after the biggest oil spill in U.S. history ravaged the Gulf Coast region, Feinberg has yet to uphold his promise to respond to claimants," Rocker said.
The protest was held to demand answers from Feinberg on when he expects to resolve the more than 10,000 claims through a proposed settlement for a minimum of $488 million.
Initially, the protesters blocked entry to the office building by tying the ropes from their protest signs around the entrance doors.
D.C. police officers on the scene noted that it's not their policy to arrest protesters. However, the protesters moved inside the lobby of the office building, which resulted in charges of trespassing on private property and the arrests of Gregory and Rocker.
"BP ain't seen nothing yet ... we will not continue to sit idly by while receiving nothing for the underserved and poor people," Gregory said. "We will return to London, England, to echo the fact that BP should not be a leading sponsor for the 2012 Olympics, while refusing to pay the claims of the poor."