On Thursday morning, in a dramatic escalation of nationwide attempts to criminalize free speech and peaceful demonstration, Louisiana Bucket Brigade activists Anne Rolfes and Kate Mcintosh turned themselves in to local law enforcement on charges related to a nonviolent protest action in December 2019 after a warrant was put out for their arrest.
Their offense? “Terrorizing” Formosa, a multi-billion corporation, with the same plastic pellets that Formosa themselves have been dumping into Texas’s Lavaca Bay. (Formosa had to cough up $50 million to settle a lawsuit over the incident.)
According to an article from The Intercept, “With a key environmental permit still pending for Formosa in Louisiana, the action — dubbed ‘Nurdlefest’ — was meant to pressure the state’s Department of Environmental Quality to scrutinize the company’s record. Boxes of the plastic pellets, used as evidence in the Texas case, were carted to the front of the agency, where around 75 people gathered in the rain.
What apparently terrorized community members, however, was a container of the pellets that appeared on the porch of an oil and gas lobbyist, with a detailed note attached, explaining what they were and their Texas origin.”
Does that really sound so terrible?
The recent arrests in Louisiana are part of a coordinated attack on those who defend democracy and challenge the petrochemical industry. If you are able, please consider supporting the Louisiana Bucket Brigade’s Defend Democracy Fund and help protect our right to free speech.
Photo caption/credit: The intercept, Taiwanese petrochemical company Formosa agreed to a $50 million settlement for dumping small pellets that make up the building blocks for plastic products, known as “nurdles,” into Texas’s Lavaca Bay. Photo: Courtesy of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.