This is just a brief report on the marvelous action against the Richmond Chevron refinery yesterday. There was a large scale rally of 800 people at the Richmond BART. 500 people then marched from the BART to the gates of the Richmond Chevron refinery. About 300 people laid down in a die-in to represent the deaths of people in Richmond, Nigeria, Burma and elsewhere worldwide due to Chevron’s toxic practices. At that point, I started singing a song to end the die-in and create a diversion as a 14 person clean-up team jumped over the barrier and onto Chevron refinery soil to begin the clean-up that Chevron needs to finish. They were arrested immediately.
The city of Richmond showed up in a number of ways. The Mayor joined us as a rally speaker. Richmond police had shut down the freeway exits that come anywhere close to the action site. Chevron security and police lined the roads in every direction around our solar power sound-truck. I noticed several of them clearly having a hard time not bobbing their heads to our music, and I saw some applause after I sang. I treat cops (and soldiers) like future warriors on my side, because they too can be awakened, and can be fierce, skilled comrades.
In fact, one of our speakers was an Iraq War Veteran. He was nervous, but powerful. Each of the speakers really deepened our collective understanding of the impacts of Chevron. Organizers came from Nigeria, Burma, the local indigenous community, and of course directly impacted Richmond community members. I will work to get the list of speaker’s names and add them on here – the speaker from Nigeria shared with us during the die-in that “this is what it looks like in Nigeria – this is exactly how we are dying there too because of Chevron.”
Chevron is just one of the international environmental criminals that will be targeted in the lead up to Copenhagen (and beyond!).