It was a celebration that everyone would agree, has been a long time coming. The residents of the “Diamond Community” in Norco, Louisiana celebrated Shell Chemical’s community buyout on Friday, July 5, 2002 at the Greater Good Hope Baptist Church.
The Concerned Citizens of Norco, along with other local, and national environmental justice activists came together to celebrate the ending of a long fought battle against Shell Chemical for relocation. Members of Concerned Citizens of Norco gave certificates and plaques to environmental groups and individuals who supported their struggle.
“This did not happen overnight,” said Margie Richard, former Diamond resident and past president of Concerned Citizens for Norco. “We are paving the way for a new generation.” Ms. Richard was relocated in the first phase of the Shell buyout last year and now lives in Destrehan, Louisiana.
California Congresswoman, Maxine Waters was also at the celebration to congratulate the Diamond residents. Congresswoman Waters attended last year’s “Cancer Alley Tour,” and was appalled at the life threatening living conditions the Diamond community residents had to endure. She vowed to write a letter to Shell’s Chief Executive Officer urging them to relocate the Diamond community residents. Waters told the crowd “my district is not only in California but also right here in Norco, Louisiana. Environmental struggles are happening all over the world, this is a little light shining through the tunnel saying it’s possible to win.”
Contact Info: Dr. Beverly Wright, Xavier University of Louisiana, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, 504.304.3324.