For nearly two months, across all forms of news media, horrific images of the worst oil spill in United States history continue to gush forth. From oil-soaked animals both dead and alive, to miles of dark oil streaks snaking through the once azure blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, to most recently, unsightly brown surf encrusting itself along miles of Alabama coastline, these images have stirred passionate anger and frustration directed at both the U.S. government and British Petroleum, the oil company responsible.
Sunday, that anger and frustration made itself collectively known, as more than 50 cities on five continents throughout the world participated in Worldwide BP Protest Day. A few dozen people, including young kids and teenagers, gathered near the Redondo Beach Pier to take part in the event.
Two youths attracted attention via a megaphone, while others carried signs that read "Stop Offshore Drilling" and "Save the Animals." Still others were stopping people along the bike path and handing out fliers filled with information.
"We're here to protest the oil spill and BP's lack of handling the cleanup and the lack of regulations that helped cause the oil spill," said Sherry Lear, the organizer of the Redondo Beach protest.
Lear said the point of the protest was to spread the facts and raise public awareness about the amount of devastation. She also hoped to inform people that there are many ways in which they can help including donating money; taking steps to reduce one's carbon imprint and dependence on oil; writing senators and members of Congress to urge them to enforce stricter legislation on offshore drilling; and joining Facebook pages such as Boycott BP and Protest BP.
"Our nation and world's need for oil is what helped contribute to the fact that we had something like this happen," she said.
Scientists have estimated that anywhere between 40 million gallons to more than 100 million gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico since a BP drilling rig exploded April 20, killing 11 workers.
Despite differing views on how to now handle the situation--including simply enforcing stricter regulations or completely shutting down offshore drilling-- the underlying and unifying belief shared by all who participated in the worldwide protest was that this disaster should never happen again, said Lear.
For those interested in helping, visit: The National Wildlife Federation, the nation's largest conservation organization at www.nwf.org; the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, an organization dedicated to clearning oiled birds, at www.SeabirdSanctuary.com; the Mobile Baykeeper, a conservation organization dedicated to the Mobile Bay in Mobile, Ala., at www.mobilebaykeeper.org; or the Gulf Restoration Network, which works to protect and restore the Gulf of Mexico across five states and several nations, at www.healthygulf.org.