Protesters Call for BP Prosecution - NBC4 Washington

Protesters Call for BP Prosecution

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    Protesters Call for BP Prosecution

    The situation in the Gulf of Mexico is fueling protests across the country, including demonstrators' rally outside BP's downtown Washington offices Friday.

    They say BP is guilty of criminal negligence after the oil spill in the Gulf. A hundred or so protesters made themselves very visible and called the oil spill is a “crude awakening.”

    "The communities and families that they have harmed with their negligence and corporate greed must stop today,” one protester shouted into a megaphone.
     
    More than 100 demonstrators armed with signs calling for the oil giant's assets to be seized, a massive inflatable oil barrel and efigies of BP's chief executive, Tony Hayward, tried to deliver a passionate message.
     
    "Leave the oil and the fossil fuels in the ground," Rev. Lennox Yearwood, of Hip Hop Caucus, shouted at people looking down on the crowd from the New York Avenue office building.
     
    "If corporations would follow the rules that were set out for them, not try and skirt them and make more money, this would never have happened in the first place," said demonstrator Jill Burke.
     
    The eight groups that organized this protest accuse BP of crimes against the environment, workers and the communities impacted by the spill. They want the corporation dealt with harshly.
     
    "I see you in the window. Your greed is killing my people" said Rev. Yearwood.
     
    "Their philosophy was to inject mud into the spill. I mean, there's got to be technology out there to fix it, and in the long run they just need to have better resources down there to help with the clean up," said demonstrator Rachel Humphreys.
     
    The protest quickly moved across the street to the building that houses BP  offices to deliver a prison jump suit. The chants grew more intense, with the crowd yelling, “Hayward, what do you say? How many people did you poison today?”
     
    As demonstrators made their way through the main doors, D.C. police arrived.
     
    "We want to make sure that they facilitate their expression but also that the people inside the building are able to conduct their business," said Commander Hilton Burton, of the Metro Police Special Events Unit.
     
    Even though the outraged focused on the oil industry, protestors said there's enough blame for the government, too.
     
    "They have watered down every single regulation. They have given the oil companies the opportunity to police themselves in the same way they gave Wall Street the right to police themselves," said demonstrator Jan Chastain.
     
    BP didn't respond to NBC's request for comment, but in the past, Hayward has promised that the company would clean up every drop of oil and restore the shoreline.
     
    Yesterday, BP and others involved in the spill got a $69 million bill from the federal government.