(New Orleans, LA) The Concerned Citizens of Norco came forward today with their private anguish over Shell's relocation program in their community, detailing how Shell's program is destroying family relationships by ripping their community in half. Family Divided, a new report released by the citizens, documents how Shell is dividing the community and destroying families and social support networks. "Shell wants my elderly mother's property, but they won't buy my house even though I live only one block away," said Delwyn Smith, President of the local group. "How can I let my Mother go without me when she relies on me for care?"
The saga of families torn apart is repeated throughout the Diamond neighborhood and is told in Family Divided. For the first time ever, the families of Diamond have come forward with their stories and made a plea to Shell to offer relocation to all of the families in the neighborhood. "I have lived here all my life," said Sandra Campbell, of Diamond. "Now they have made an offer for my sister to leave but not to me. Shell is causing strife within our family by picking some of us and leaving out others."
The anguish suffered by the Diamond community represents the latest affront in a long and painful history with the corporation. Since Shell entered the community in the 1950's, the company has routinely failed to hire African American residents from Diamond and in fact barred them from the company's recreational facilities. Today's exclusion of half of the community continues the shameful history and represents the global pattern of strife that Shell has sown in communities around the world in which it operates. "In Nigeria today there are communities who are struggling against Shell's unfair practices in their land," said Anne Rolfes, director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade who has worked with communities in Nigeria. "In Norco Shell has a chance to do the right thing, to offer relocation to all and change its global pattern. We hope that Shell will take that opportunity."
WHO: Members of some of the anguished families will be there, including Mrs. Bessie Harding, Carla Johnson, Dorothy Pedescleaux, Dewayne Washington, and Mr. Wilbert Jenkins.
WHERE: Embassy Suites Hotel, downtown New Orleans
315 Julia Street
Bayou Jean LaFitte 1
WHEN: Wednesday, March 27th, 11:30 AM