DuPont's Public Filibuster

As area residents and activists prepared to participate in a public hearing on DuPont Titanium Technologies' request to increase polluting activities at its plant outside Pass Christian, Mississippi, they had no idea they'd have a long wait before getting a turn to speak. "When they realized a handful of prominent supporters - including economic development directors, chamber boosters, bankers and several plant employees - had reserved the first hour and a half of floor time, the hundreds of concerned residents grew livid," reports Greg Harman. The company's supporters tied up the hearing with lengthy orations about the company's contributions to local schools and civic programs. The speeches, Harman notes, "served one purpose, intended or otherwise: Barely a breath of the very-present dissent hit the television newscast that night or the next day's newspaper."