Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

BP to Reporter: “What are You Doing Here?”

Vodpod videos no longer available. Seems that BP is giving the press–and its workers–a hard time.

Despite BP’s recent statement that open access is allowed to the press (excepting security or safety concerns), reporters like Dan Harris, in the clip above, are continuously blocked in their efforts to cover the oil spill and its ramifications.

The trickle-down effect of BP officials not speaking to the press extends to the more than 20,000 workers cleaning up the beaches. Harris says that workers are reluctant to speak on camera because they have been told by BP not to do so. After all, who’s going to bite the hand that feeds you?

Workers use absorbent pads to clean oil from the Pelican Rookery near Grand Isle, La., on Thursday. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

Still, some of BP’s workers are speaking out. George Jackson, a 53 year-old fisherman in Louisiana, took work for the BP clean-up after the company eliminated any hope for his fishing business. Not only has the disaster affected his livelihood, it has created health problems. Jackson told The Los Angeles Times:

As he was laying containment booms Sunday, he said, a dark substance floating on the water made his eyes burn.

“I ain’t never run on anything like this,” Jackson said. Within seconds, he said, his head started hurting and he became nauseated.

Like other cleanup workers, Jackson had attended a training class where he was told not to pick up oil-related waste. But he said he wasn’t provided with protective equipment and wore leather boots and regular clothes on his boat.

“They [BP officials] told us if we ran into oil, it wasn’t supposed to bother us,” Jackson said. “As far as gloves, no, we haven’t been wearing any gloves.”

Commercial fisher-woman Diane Wilson of Seadrift, Texas, pours a jar of syrup made to look like oil over herself as a police officer drags her from a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing yesterday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Seems that BP’s efforts to contain the bad publicity are failing. In addition to the press and workers talking, activists like commercial fisherwoman Diane Wilson are speaking out. Wilson interrupted a Senate hearing in which Senator Lisa Murkowski sought to limit BP’s liability. Murkoswki has been in bed with the big oil companies nearly $150,000 in campaign funds from the oil industry.

Wilson doused herself in fake oil at the beginning of the session to express her outrage over BP support on Capitol Hill. A powerful action that received lots of media attention and continues the public pressure on BP to act more responsibly.


Filed under: environmentalism, labor, media, oil spill, , , , , , , , , , ,

Hatemongers @Twitter HQ

Why Fred Phelps’ fear-mongering church is doing at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, no one knows.

No matter what they’re protesting (are all Twitter users gay?), the event provided some fodder for absurdist pranksters like EDW Lynch.

Man, his sign is classic.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Twittering at G-20 Can Land You in Jail

G20 Summit Protests

Or so it seems for Elliot Madison. The 41 year-old social worker sent tweets to his pals during the G-20 protests in Pittsburgh. Apparently, Madison was a part of grassroots group called the Tin Can Comms Collective. Madison’s tweets described protests and related events. As reported by the NYT:

Many of those messages tracked police movements. One read: “SWAT teams rolling down 5th Ave.” Another read: “Report received that police are ‘nabbing’ anyone that looks like a protester / Black Bloc. Stay alert watch your friends!”

Now, F.B.I. agents have arrested him for “hindering apprehension or prosecution, criminal use of a communication facility and possession of instruments of crime.” The federal authorities raided Madison’s home and confiscated equipment.

As Gawker reports:

Investigators are taking this thing super seriously: they raided Madison’s Queens apartment and removed antiquated items, like “newspapers,” an “address book,” whatever that is, and a picture of Lenin. Anarchists are so predictable.

A frightening proposition: Big Brother may be monitoring those 140-character messages you mindlessly send while waiting in line at the RMV. I’ve blogged in the past about the dangers of public life on the Internet. Ever wondered who’s following your Tweets and tracking your public information, and for what purpose?


Filed under: government, technology, , , , , ,

The Govt vs The People: Two Views in Iran, Part II

Here’s the video of the Iranian student who called into CNN’s “American Morning” to provide a ground picture of the protests. Contrast with the official government TV picture of the climate.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Govt vs The People: Two Views in …“, posted with vodpod


Filed under: global justice, world, , ,

Citizen Aid, Underground Railroads in Iran

As we know, the foreign media has been banned from covering post-election unrest in Iran and citizen journalism has filled the void. I thought this YouTube video provided a ground-level picture of aid to protesters. The accompanying information reads:

Tehran, Iran 7 Tir Sq on the 22nd of June. People helping a injured – When the hospitals are taken over by Basij and Police you find other ways to help injured – First Aid “Iranian style”. They are burning paper to then put the ashes on wounds to prevent infection.

Stay Strong, Brave Iranians


CNN broadcast an incredibly moving interview with Melody Moezzi, an Iranian-American author, who provides an overview of the brutal actions of the Basij, the abandonment of politics, and the development of safe havens/underground railroads. Despite political views, Moezzi says, “We’re all in the opposition at this point, because we’re opposed to murder.”

She emphasizes the fear and the hope of friends and relatives in Iran. About the murder of Neda on Saturday (Neda means “the voice” or “the call” in Farsi) , Moezzi asks: “How do you say to a woman who’s dying, ‘Do not be afraid’? Because she’s a martyr.”

Here’s the clip:


Filed under: global justice, world, , , , , ,



» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
March 2018
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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