Friday, July 08, 2005

Willie Fontenot update

E Magazine just printed a story about Willie Fontenot, who was forced out of his job of 30 years as the community liaison in the Louisiana Attorney General's office after chaperoning a group of Antioch students through Cancer Alley.

Steve Chase, the Director of the Antioch New England Environmental Justice and Advocacy Program, made another call in that story to concerned citizens, asking them to contact Attorney General Charles Foti, demanding that he meet with Willie, and give him back his job. (The above link doesn't contain the email address for the AG,

Chase is also asking for donations to the Willie Fontenot Support Fund:

Send a check for the WILLE FONTENOT SUPPORT FUND (made out to Antioch New England with "Fontenot Support" in the memo section) to Steve Chase, Environmental Advocacy and Organizing Program, Antioch New England, 40 Avon Street, Keene, NH 03431).

I talked to Willie a week or so ago. He wasn't optimistic about getting his job back.

Here's the bottom line: Charles Foti may have made a mistake, but it's time for him to do the right thing. Law enforcement officers - whether off duty, on duty, or private security - can't go around harrassing people who are trying to help communities that live in the most densely-packed chemical corridor in the country. He needs to lay down the law on behalf of citizens, telling law enforcement that they can ask who people are and what they're doing, but they can't intimidate citizens who aren't doing anything illegal. Furthermore, he needs to state without a doubt that anyone who opportunistically raises the spectre of Homeland Security "Gestapo" will be fired.

As easy as it would be to slam Foti for the mistake he made in firing Fontenot, we've got to encourage him to do the right thing.

It's time to do something about this folks! We're going on 4 months that Foti has been dragging his ass on this. Give Willie a helping hand! Give him some hope!

There's more background one the Willie Fontenot story in the radio segment I produced for WTUL here.


Post a Comment

<< Home