- Posted January 7, 2012 by
BATTLE CREEK, Michigan
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Kalamazoo River Oil Spill Disaster - 7 JAN 2012 UPDATE
We were called to a meeting in which the lawyer presented the dollar amount ... people were ticked off and for a few moments I thought it would get physical. People were angry, upset, and many in tears... I went home after an hour and read over the paperwork... It was not difficult for LA Boy and I to say no... basically by signing that paper you are promising to shut the heck up, never speak about the dollar amount... talk about Enbridge and any companies it works with... You are signing away your life..
The lawyer had promised the people they would have their check by the Tuesday before Christmas if they signed... which some received and some are still waiting... I had people at my kitchen table sobbing and people over the phone yelling and crying... Talk about adding to your stress level. I reach out to a few lawyers and friends for advice... I end up calling friends who have gone through this in the Gulf and Alaska on Christmas Eve... I am told welcome to the Oil spill Martyrs club.
But as I tweet and share and communicate with people around the world the next night who are fighting pipelines in the US and Canada... and send them links I smile... If I had signed that dang piece of crap... I couldn't write this.. So it was worth walking away from the paltry dollar amount offered by Enbridge. You can't buy my silence... I studied martial arts.. I believe in crazy things like honor, and an indomitable spirit. The rest of the holidays is spent moving more people out of the park, holding hands and saying prayers for a friend in the hospital, dismantling a wheelchair ramp and rebuilding it for a friend... They are 120,000 thousand in the hole due to family illnesses... His wife tells me to give Enbridge hell... I promise her I will... she took the payout so she could make her truck payments as she has to figure out how to get her husband back and forth to the doctors. Others accepted because they wanted to get the heck out of park... some just wanted it behind them. Amiga 1 and 2 take the payoff... 1 gets her money, the 2nd not yet... and Enbridge ... you might want to get that check to her before she changes her mind... She was just being quiet to not rock the boat for the residents as I have been.
So the New Year is here ... and so am I ... I get calls where people are regretting signing ... I tell them don't worry... It's not over yet.... and I am not going away... I will keep telling the story of hell after an oil spill . I will keep working on changing laws... I will keep being a pain in Enbridge's lower posterior along with other companies in the big energy industry. So Happy New Year’s from Oily Creek… I wish you health, joy, peace, and happiness and no oil spills in your neighborhood.