Idle No More rises up in the Bay Area to lead protest against Chevron & fossil fuel industry
August 13, 2013
On Saturday, August 3rd almost 3000 people marched from Richmond BART to the Chevron refinery on the first anniversary of the terrible refinery explosion last year. Toxicity spread across the city and sent thousands to local hospitals. At the protest 210 people were arrested for trespassing when they would not leave the gated entrance of the refinery.
All of this a non-violent yet direct action to call for:
• NO more toxic hazards.
• NO Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
• NO refining tar sands or fracked crude.
• YES to a just transition from dirty fossil fuels to union jobs in clean energy!
The event was called Summer Heat Richmond. Many groups, including 350.org, were involved in organizing. A new indigenous group Idle No More SF Bay Area, led the march. I was invited to walk with them. The Idle No More movement began last November in Canada when the First Nations there began to organize protests of the legislative abuses of indigenous treaty rights by the Canadian government. The Idle No More movement has spread internationally with many affinity groups forming. Why? Because violation of indigenous rights is happening all over the world.
The rally started at 9:30 AM outside the Richmond BART station where members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) and Idle No More SF Bay offered prayers and sage.