|Date:||29 Jan 2001 22:17:24 -0000|
|Subject:||RE: [CPEO-MEF] Communities of Color at Fort Ord Have No Voice|
At the Environmental Cleanup Open House, Jan. 20, 2001, the Fort Ord EJ Network was told that a table would be available for them. Instead we were met by paid Federal Police, plainclothes police and detectives, who stopped me right after I entered the room with my poster display. We had to ask for a table, because the small table that was available was taken up by another group. I was told that I could not come in, and one plain clothes police tried to take my display from me. There was a large number of police present, and not that many community members present. Why? I don't know. Another member of our group had his Camera case searched. This was an Open House, wasn't it? This was a rather frightening experience. We were there to bring attention to the fact that we feel that we have no voice. Our opinions are not considered to be as important as the opinions of others. People who have live in these communities directly adjacent to Fort Ord, and who are directly affected by every aspect of this Superfund, Federal facility, virtually no say in how they are treated, medically, or economically. We are fighting for our lives. People are continually dividing our community, taking away from the issues of concern. Those concerns that could be addressed to really bring closure, real help, healing and reconciliation for people who have been severely devastated and displaced. No chance of recovery in sight. We live here and have no place to go. There have never been relocation dollars available, no healthcare dollars available, no Economic Development dollars available for community members of color who have been affected. 1. High levels of stress in the communities of color 2. High levels of homelessness 3. High levels of job displacement 4. Health concerns and treatment for lead, asbestos, solvents from the landfill in the housing areas. 5. Contaminated groundwater, drinking water 6. Now, the big fight is Unexploded Ordinance in Seaside portion of Fort Ord Some say burn, others say don't burn, some say use new technology, others say no, don't disturb the habitant. The affected people are in the middle? Right there, one road separates citizens in Seaside from some of the most hazardous ranges at Fort Ord. Our children have been exposed to these dangers, taking explosives to school and other areas. Cancer has already touched and taken the lives of many who live here, and who have lived here. We are tired of the debates and all of the excuses. We want the infighting to stop, clean it up! Clean it up now! We are talking about human beings, who have been affected, and who are being affected, and who are in the midst of a political struggle which does not include them. Which does not listen to them. Lay down your swords, come over to our side. We are the people!the affected people! The historically disenfranchised people. Can't we speak and be listened to, why must we be silent? Can't you hear their voices in the wind?, in the trees?, in the water?, in the ground? Why won't you listen? Do you hate the people for being here, for being affected, for being discounted? Do you hate the people for wanting accountability, to forget about yourselves for a minute. People who just want a healthy life, to live in homes that are safe and that they can afford, with their families, people who want to work to pay all of your costs for a right to live in America. This is the Land of the Brave, and the Home of the Free? Isn't it. Power, greed, selfishness, need to take a back seat. It's about what we need as a community. It's what we need, we can't even work on desires now. We are trying to have our needs addressed. Thanks for listening, we need to have a voice! We must have a voice! If you are one of the voiceless and want to be heard, call (831) 883-0814 and leave a message. LeVonne Stone, Exe. Director Fort Ord EJ Network P.O. Box 361 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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