Protest at BP Headquarters Over Oil Remaining in Gulf

New Orleans, La. – Protesters held banners that read, "The oil is still here, and so are we." Tar balls were dropped in front of the building's revolving doors. Some demonstrators were covered in brown paint, representing the oil they say is still polluting the Gulf. One was Lisa Watson of Pensacola, Florida.

"Huge tar mats are washing up with every thunderstorm, with every storm. Tropical Storm Don that went through the Gulf washed up giant, giant tar mats."

BP spokesman Curtis Thomas says most of the oil remains in Louisiana wetlands.

"It's a very delicate environment. We are handling it the way scientists tell us we can do it the best. And that is our goal, is to do the best possible job in the marshes without doing further damage."

Several speakers complained of illnesses that developed after the spill. One was John Gooding of Bay St. Louis, who now lives in Pass Christian because his home is too close to the water he says is making him sick.

"The very first time I smelled it I got sick, and I knew I was going to have to stay away from it. I've had over 20 lung surgeries since 1980 so I'm hypersensitive to chemicals."

Many complained that the BP claims process is not addressing medical problems. Thomas says BP considers 97 percent of the spill is now gone.

"When they say the oil is still here they need to clarify that. And also, BP is still here. We haven't gone away."

BP had about 48-thousand responders at the height of the spill. It now has about 12-hundred, with about 100 vessels remaining in clean-up operations.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming