It doesn’t say much for the courage, strength of character or sense of humor of lobbyists for Formosa Plastics that they were terrorized by the small plastic “nurdles” dropped off at their doorsteps by Anne Rolfes and Kate McIntosh of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade. This action was a part of the Brigade’s efforts to help residents of St. James Parish protest against the company’s plan to build a plant, one byproduct of which would be those nurdles.

Rolfes and the Bucket Brigade have an established history of responsible and sometimes wickedly funny protests to help communities along the river attract attention and sometimes remediation for harms to their health and property values. One example is providing them with simple and inexpensive air sampling buckets — hence their name — so that they can capture and send off for analysis air samples from their yards and homes when companies and state agencies are not protecting them.

One resident of the Diamond community was able to travel to a board meeting of Royal Dutch Shell with a bag of air released from their Motiva plant and offered to open it so the board could breathe the air that she breathed at her home. The board declined but did work to facilitate the community’s move to safer places.

At a time of worldwide condemnation of China for arrests and prosecutions to limit protests for independence in Hong Kong, the undertold story Bob Marshall (July 12) points to is that some business interests and government entities in our state are attempting these same tactics to limit environmentalists’ free speech and peaceful protests.

Thank you to Gov. John Bel Edwards for vetoing the bill from the Legislature to do that, but who is responsible for charging Rolfes and McIntosh with terrorism? And on what grounds is this an appropriate charge?

Award-winning reporters for this newspaper should tell us more. The advice Deep Throat gave the Watergate newshounds — “Follow the money” — may apply here, or follow the politics. Inquiring minds would like to know.


professor emeritus