Richmond Rally: Arrest Chevron's executive war criminals
Pacifica Evening News, 09.03.2012
Protestors gathered at the gate to the Chevron Corporation's refinery in Richmond California where, a month ago, fires spurted from two of the refinery towers and a black cloud of toxic smoke hung over San Francisco Bay, above Richmond and neighboring communities.
Pacifica Evening News Anchor Anthony Fest: About 100 labor and social justice activists rallied at Washington Park in Richmond this morning, one month after an explosion there caused a huge plume of black smoke to rise above the Bay Area, including Richmond and neighboring cities. KPFA's Ann Garrison attended the rally and filed this report.
Pacifica/KPFA Ann Garrison: Labor, community, social justice, and Peace and Freedom Party activists rallied at the gate to Chevron's Richmond Oil Refinery this morning to call for the nationalization of Chevron and the criminal prosecution of its executive managers.
More than one speaker said that Richmond has the second highest municipal cancer rate in California and that 30% of its children have asthma. Henry Clark of the West County Toxics Coalition referred to the people of North Richmond who are on the front line of the refinery's emissions.
Henry Clark: West County Toxics Coalition In North Richmond, where we're on the front llne on a daily basis, not only when there's a fire and explosion like August the 6th, but on a daily basis, we are experiencing and breathin' in pollution that is destroyin' our health. High rates of childhood asthma and asthma are in our community.
Pacific/KPFA: Peace and Freedom Party vice presidential candidate and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in the Iraq War, expressed solidarity with those who are not onlypolluted by the oil industry but also killed by the U.S. military fighting for its interests. Sheehan said that the police who had arrived to protect Chevron from the protest should instead be arresting Chevron executives, whom she called war criminals, because the U.S. goes to war for them.
Cindy Sheehan: There're the cops protecting Chevron. What do they think we're gonna do??? Do they think we're gonna cause a major explosion to poison the community? Do they think we're gonna start a war so we can go drill for the last drop of oil on this planet? Do they think we're gonna kill innocent people because our oil is under their sand? Is that what the cops actually think we're gonna do? The cops should be joining us . . . (Crowd: Applause. YEAH CINDY!!!). They should be going into Chevron and arresting those executives!
Pacifica KPFA: A large prominent banner held up outside the Chevron Gate, at the entrance to the refinery bore the name ofcommunity health organizations and the telephone number of Oakland civil rights attorney John Burris, one of the three attorneys who have together filed a lawsuit against Chevron for recklessly risking and damaging the community's health.