The Harvard-Redcliffe Black Students Association (BSA) was one of seven organization co-sponsoring a Science Center forum last night on the political and biological implications of toxic waste dumping.
The forum included three activists currently involved in the struggle against toxic dumping in Warren Country. North Carolina.
BSA President Curtis Hairston '84 said that the BSA is trying "to address those issues which affect all Black people and toxic example of a topic of concern to Black Americans."
Warren County, the poorest section of North Carolina, is a predominantly Black agricultural community. In the mid-1970s, petroleum containing poly-chlorinated bifals (PCBs) was spilled around the state, and the federal government decided to dispose of the waste in Warren County, panelists said.
Panelist Ken Ferrucio, president of Warren County Citizens Concened about PCBs, said that in choosing the Warren County site, "The EPA has built into the siting regulation a mechanism for discrimination."
After organizing against the dumping, citizens of Warren County sought the help of national leaders like Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christine Leadership Conference, Rep. Walter Fauntroy (D-Washington, D.C.,) and the Re. Leon White, director of the North Caroline-virgins office of United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice.
While, also a panelist on last night's forum, agreed with Ferrucio that the Warren Country site was chosen because it was a poor Black community. "they were not making a scientific judgement, but a political one by going to a poor Black community, waiving the safety regulation and doing what they wanted to do," he said, "We are facing the same old enemies, discrimination, segregation and class distinction, and yes, genocide,"
Both White and Ferrucio stressed that both Blacks and whites hae organized against the dumping.
Aaron Estis'80, moderator of the panel and spokesman for Federation for progress- a Boston grassroots coalition concerned with peace, jobs and equality-said that "Warren County is representative of the coming together of two very powerful movements in this country-the environmentalists and the Black Liberation movements."