FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2010
12:42 PM

CONTACT: CODEPINK

Medea Benjamin 415 235 6517
Dana Balicki 202 422 8624

Distraught Gulf Shrimper Arrested for Pouring Oil on Herself in Senate Energy Hearing Protesting Senator Murkowski's Refusal to Make BP Pay

WASHINGTON - June 9 - Diane Wilson, a fourth generation shrimper from the Gulf, poured oil on herself at today's Senate Energy Committee hearing to protest  Senator Lisa Murkowski's refusal to make BP pay for the disaster that has devastating Wilson's shrimping community.  Republican Lisa Murkowski, ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, blocked the bill that would have lifted the oil companies' liability cap (the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act). Wilson was removed from the hearing and arrested.

Wilson traveled from Texas, where her livelihood and those of her fellow shrimpers has been ruined. She had this to say, "My name is Diane Wilson. I am a fourth generation shrimper from the Gulf. With this BP disaster, I am seeing the destruction of my community and I am outraged. I am also seeing elected representatives like Senator Lisa Murkowski blocking BP from being legally responsible to pay for this catastrophe. She stopped the Big Oil Bailout Prevention Act and wants to keep the liability cap at a pitiful $75 million. This is outrageous. How dare she side with big oil over the American people who have been so devastated by this manmade disaster."

"We want people to call Senator Murkowski's office and tell her to stop supporting big oil and support a healthy environment and American livelihoods instead," said CODEPINK co-founder Medea Benjamin, who was with Wilson at the hearing. "Our members from across the country have sent Murkowski thousands of emails already. We also want the Senator to call for Diane Wilson to be exonerated. BP CEO Tony Hayward should be in jail, not a distraught shrimper!"

Wilson has been working for decades fighting the polluting of the Gulf. She wrote the book An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters, and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas detailing her years long fight against oil and chemical companies in her community. She went on to say, "I have seen the oil and chemical companies destroying our air, water, our wildlife--and the government going along with it. Politicians like Murkowski take campaign money from big oil and then get in bed with the same oil and chemical corporations. This must stop. Enough is enough." The full text of Diane's statement is here

Wilson is also a co-founder of the organization CODEPINK Women for Peace. She was in front of BP HQ in Houston, Texas two weeks ago to protest the oilspill and draw attention to BP's legacy of negligence. Read her most recent article, "The BP oil gusher is just the latest in a long line of assaults on the Gulf of Mexico" published on Grist.com.

For more info contact Medea Benjamin/CODEPINK at medea@globalexchange.org or call 415-235-6517.

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CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.



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