Wow, Lois Gibbs! What an amazing, courageous woman. I hope that some of you who are reading this were able to meet her and hear her speak on Oct. 15.
Sadly, we know that some in our community were denied the honor of hearing her – the student body and teachers of Marquette Senior High School.
When school officials told Gibbs – the day before she was scheduled to speak – that she would not be allowed to bring up the subject of Kennecott, Lois Gibbs made the decision to decline the speaking engagement.
During the discussion period after Gibbs’ talk at Northern Michigan University on Friday evening someone brought up this incident, which prompted a couple questions and comments from community members in the audience.
It is very regrettable that this Nobel Prize nominee was censored in our community. Are we going to keep allowing Kennecott/Rio Tinto to dictate our lives here? Since when do residents of the Upper Peninsula (excepting the fur trade days) allow an outside corporation to come in and take over our lives like this?
When is our U.P. community going to wake up and realize what is going on? After the fact, like the poor families of Love Canal, and the thousands of other communities nationwide who have become victims of these uncaring corporations?
Now that Kennecott has the majority of our governing bodies in Marquette County in their pockets, it will be difficult. But we have no more time to waste.
If you don’t want our community to be taken over and controlled by outsiders like other communities in Wisconsin, Utah, Alaska, Ontario and many other places around the world, then it is time to do something about it.
And if you missed the opportunity to be educated by this powerful little housewife from New York, then pick up her book, “Achieving the Impossible,” at Snowbound Books, or Google her. It will not take long to be inspired to do the right thing for our U.P. community.
I would like to end this letter by thanking the “one brave teacher” whom Lois said tried to stop the censorship in order to allow these valuable lessons to be shared with the young people who will be faced with the socioeconomic and environmental legacy we leave them.
by Barbara Bradley