Take Action Against Chevron; March 15th in Richmond Ca.

By scott parkin

So, tomorrow a whole bunch of people are going to be taking action at Chevron’s refinery in Richmond Ca for their role in the war in Iraq (cheerleading and profiting from it), polluting local communities in Richmond Ca with their refinery expansion and burning up the climate with greenhouse gas emissions.

By boat, bike and blockade, folks will be putting their bodies on the line to stop Chevron’s madness. Follow this blog and watch what happens. If you are in the Bay Area come out and join us.

Non-violent Land, Sea and Bike Blockade and Protest of Chevron Refinery to Kick Off National Anti-War Protests on Fifth Anniversary of Iraq Attack

Rally and nonviolent direct action at Richmond Refinery will target Chevron’s war profiteering and toxic pollution of Bay Area community

WHEN: Saturday, March 15, 2008, 11 AM Rally; Nonviolent Direct Action, 1PM

WHERE: Rally begins at Judge G. Carroll Park, W. Cutting Blvd. & S. Garrard Blvd, Richmond; Nonviolent Direct Action at Chevron Refinery, 100 Chevron Way, Richmond

WHAT: Just days before the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, concerned Bay Area residents will tomorrow engage in peaceful civil disobedience aimed at the war profiteers who have helped shape the Bush administration’s disastrous foreign policy, using bicycles and “blockades” to stop stolen Iraqi oil from entering or leaving Chevron’s Richmond refinery for half a day.

Chevron, the US’s second largest oil company, processes more than one million barrels of crude oil from Iraq every month at its refinery in Richmond, California, allowing the company to profit as Iraqi men, women and children die and US taxpayers foot the bill for an unnecessary war that is costing trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of US soldiers.

The Bay Area Peace Navy will set sail at 9am to begin Saturday’s events, and will sail through the bay until 11am, when a family-friendly rally at Judge G. Carroll Park will feature speakers, spoken word artists, and musicians. At 1pm participants, accompanied by musicians, bicyclists, puppets, and more, will march to the refinery, where some protesters plan to engage in acts of peaceful civil disobedience.

The protest at the Richmond refinery will kick off a series of nationwide anti-war demonstrations expected in some 300 cities. It also seeks to highlight the connection between the oil industry’s disregard for human rights at home and abroad; carcinogenic and asthma-causing emissions from the refinery are causing health problems among the people of Richmond. Despite this, the company seeks to expand the refinery to process more dirtier grades of oil, increasing the threat to community health in Richmond.

“In Richmond we pay with our health; in Iraq they pay with their lives; in Ecuador and Nigeria they pay with their human rights; and we all are paying with Global Warming. If you think the price of Chevron gas is too high, you’re right. It is time that Chevron pays for the loss of lives and environmental damage,” said Dr. Henry Clark, of the West County Toxics Coalition.

So far, independent experts have estimated that the war in Iraq has cost the lives of more than one million Iraqis* – in addition to the official US statistics regarding the loss of 3,900 US soldiers – as well as costing US taxpayers approximately $2 trillion, according to a recent report released by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz.

“We are gathering on March 15th because Chevron is profiting from the blood spilt in Iraq, from the hospitalization of children in our communities here at home, and from continuing to promote oil consumption despite everything the scientists are telling us about the gathering impacts of global warming. Chevron must be held to account,” said Jess Bell, organizer with Direct Action to Stop War.

WHO: Sponsors of the Chevron rally and direct action include Direct Action to Stop the War, Greenaction, West County Toxics Coalition, Amazon Watch, Richmond Progressive Alliance, Richmond Greens, Community Health Initiative, Communities for a Better Environment, Global Exchange, and Rainforest Action Network.

Speakers at the rally include Henry Clark of West County Toxics Coalition, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, and Jessica Tovar from Communities for a Better Environment. Performers include DJ Jermiah and Afrobeat Nation, DJ Zeph and Azeem, spoken word artist Ariel Luckey, and the Raging Grannies.

For more information about the Richmond action and the 5th anniversary action on March 19, see http://www.actagainstwar.net. For a list of actions throughout the United States, including a massive nonviolent civil disobedience planned for Washington, DC, see http://www.5yearstoomany.org/

*Opinion Research Business, London, 2007