Mon Feb 11, 2013, 05:06 PM
limpyhobbler (8,244 posts)
Rep. Bob Hagan asks: Why no arrest for toxic waste dumpers?
(Bob Hagan, D - Youngstown)
Do we have two different systems of justice -- one for the wealthy business person and another for the common folk? As the Ohio governor and business interests joined hands in this latest incident, and as the governor got his enforcers to overlook the violations, and as the poisonous brine seeped into our valley and flowed to other communities downstream, I got my answer.Complete piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-hagan/two-systems-of-justice-wh_b_2661815.html
Under Ohio law, the businessman had committed a felony. This incident recalls to my mind an arrest of six students and one Vietnam veteran in November, 2011. They were protesting the delivery of these same toxic chemicals at another place owned by the same businessman. Their concern focused on the injection well that they believed was causing earthquakes in our hometown. The earthquake took place a mere 1½ mile from my home. The governor, who has taken a sizeable amount of money from the gas and oil lobby, was ignoring their calls to shut the wells down until more environmental studies could take place.
No matter, these "outlaws" were arrested, thrown into jail overnight, booked for disorderly conduct and fined. Fast forward to now and you will see what I am seeing and what most of those good people in my town are seeing: a justice system skewed for the corporations and the apparently invisible person who did the crime. The college kids and Vietnam vet were thrown in jail for a misdemeanor while the businessman has not even been arrested. Hey, we know he certainly has the money to post bond and not suffer the fate of jail, but why has he not been arrested?
Here in the much exploited, underpaid and heavily abused valley (once dubbed "Steel Valley"), our old town of Youngstown, sitting in the middle of the rust belt, watches history keep repeating itself. We have watched it first-hand: arrogant corporations turning their backs on us and rolling their eyes. For one hundred fifty years the steel magnates socked it to us and our environment, treating the Mahoning River and the citizens of our community with contempt. Their money-making operations spewed toxic wastes, slag and chemicals from blast furnaces, open hearths, coke plants and finishing mills to pollute and poison water that once supported wildlife, fishing, boating and swimming.
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