Richmond BART Station
In a related article, read why Green Team Chair Paul Chapman chose to participate in civil disobedience and be arrested at the rally...
Members of the First Church Green Ministry Team took part in a rally and direct action at the Chevron refinery in Richmond on Saturday, August 3 at 10 am. A family-friendly march began at the Richmond BART station and made its way to the refinery.
The event, organized by 350.org and its founder Bill McKibben, commemorated the infamous explosion and fire of a year ago, whose toxic mushroom cloud sent 15,000 Richmond residents to emergency rooms and is still causing serious health problems.
Chevron has failed to replace the sulfur-corroded pipes that led to the explosion, and it plans to bring in yet more high-sulfur, carbon-intensive tar sands crude for refining, with serious potential impacts on Bay Area air quality. The rally protested the extraction of tar sands and even dirtier fracked crude, and demand a swift, just transition to a sustainable clean-energy economy.
Big Oil continues its irresponsible pursuit of more and dirtier fossil fuels. Local refineries are beginning to import Canadian tar sands for processing in the Bay Area. If the fossil fuel resources that are currently known are extracted and used, the effect on the environment will be dangerous and irreversible.
Over 70,000 people across the country have signed a pledge to engage in civil disobedience in response to the dangers of continued use of fossil fuels. The event included a direct action that led to the arrest of between 160 and 210 arrests, according to reports. Green Ministry Team chair Paul Chapman was among those arrested. The protesters were taken to a nearby firestation, charged with suspicion of trespassing and released.
Bill McKibben also spoke on Friday, August 2, at 7 pm in San Francisco on a panel titled "Confronting the Climate Crisis: Environment, labor, social justice, and health perspectives on building a winning movement."