Tom Butt Header E-Forum
  E-Mail Forum – 2013  
  < RETURN  
  Yesterday's March on Chevron
August 4, 2013

Yesterday’s demonstration at the gates of Chevron was remarkable for its size, its organization and the calm way that the Richmond Police Department performed, especially in the arrest of over 200 protestors. The Richmond Parkway was shut down for the entire event.

Chevron March


Chevron Crowd


White Dress
Chevron Richmond refinery protest: 210 arrested, more than 1,000 march
By Paul Rogers progers@mercurynews.com
Posted:   08/03/2013 03:35:41 PM PDT | Updated:   about 3 hours ago

PHOTO GALLERY > View more images in this slideshow | Mercury News Media Center
RICHMOND -- More than 1,000 people marched Saturday through the streets of Richmond to the gates of the Chevron refinery, where 210 people were arrested as part of a protest against the oil giant and other fossil fuel companies.
Chanting "arrest Chevron," protesters sat in front of the refinery gates before being handcuffed by police in riot gear. The event was scheduled to mark the anniversary of the Aug. 6 explosion and fire at the refinery that generated a huge plume of black smoke and sent 15,000 people to hospitals complaining of breathing problems.
The showdown was about more than one local community's battle with its largest employer and biggest polluter, however. It represents the latest example of a fast-growing movement by environmentalists across the United States to organize rallies, marches and civil disobedience for more action to reduce greenhouse emissions
"The pace is picking up very dramatically," said Bill McKibben, one of the event organizers.
McKibben is a Vermont writer who cofounded the nonprofit group 350.org, which has organized thousands of similar events in the past five years. He was among the first people arrested Saturday. McKibben said protests are increasing because people are frustrated that Congress has not passed national laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the coal, oil and other fossil fuel industries despite overwhelming scientific evidence that the planet is warming.
"Everybody thought at first that if you have a problem this big that scientists said is a problem, then our system would act," McKibben said. "That was my assumption. But at a certain point it became clear that wasn't happening. The science was no match for the money. They've purchased the U.S. Congress."
McKibben, a professor at Middlebury College who was awarded a 1993 Guggenheim Fellowship for nonfiction writing, said the movement's major goals include convincing President Obama to cancel the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would allow Canada to export tar sands oil to U.S. refineries in Houston and other cities. Boosting federal funding and tax credits for solar, wind and other renewable projects, is also among the goals, along with passing a federal carbon tax or cap-and-trade program, similar to California's, that would offer incentives for using fewer fossil fuels.
Police arrested 209 people on suspicion of trespassing and one person on suspicion of assault for punching a protester, according to Capt. Mark Gagan.
"But this is nowhere near a situation that is unmanageable," Gagan said. "We anticipated today's civil disobedience, and the organizers and public safety have worked together to plan."
Those arrested were processed at a nearby fire station and released, Gagan said. There were no injuries.
Scientists are increasingly sounding the alarm about climate change.
Earlier this week, researchers from Stanford University published a report in the journal Science that concluded that from 1980 to 2005, the earth warmed at a rate of nearly 4 degrees per century -- a rate 10 times faster than at any time back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth 65 million years ago.
At the current rate of carbon dioxide emissions, the earth is on pace to become 9 degrees warmer by 2100, said Chris Field, a Stanford biology professor who co-authored the study. But if emissions are cut significantly in the coming decades, that could be kept to about 4 degrees, he said.
"We have an opportunity," Field said. "We can be in a world that is in many ways quite comparable to the one we have now. If we increase 9 degrees, the world will be very different, with more extreme heat waves, heavy precipitation, sea level rise, warming and challenges occurring so frequently we'll have to make fundamental changes -- like where cities are located, what parts of the world can be populated."
Globally, the 10 hottest years on record back to the 1800s have all occurred since 1998. Sea level rose 7 inches in the 20th century as oceans warmed. Ice sheets in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean are shrinking in size, as are most of the world's glaciers.
Field said he understands why people are marching. But shifting the world away from coal and oil to renewable energy and power plants that capture and store carbon will require working closely with industry as well, he said.
"The solution is not to just shut down the fossil industry," Field said. "It is to transition the energy system to a sustainable one. It has to have as much building as closing down."
Larry Gerston, a professor of political science at San Jose State University, said that although polls show many Americans concerned about climate change, the economy in recent years has taken precedence.
"The fear that new regulations will take away jobs overcomes for many people whatever concerns there might have been about climate," he said. "So the ones you have left are the true believers, the activists."
Gerston noted that it is Republicans in the House of Representatives who are doing the most to block climate reform, and because of the way House districts are drawn, they are unlikely to lose power any time soon.
"Every time we see a Hurricane Sandy or a Katrina or a tremendous drought, these protesters have to connect the dots for people," he said. "The only way the message gets out is when people are hit on the head again and again."
Staff writer Robert Rogers contributed to this report.

KTVU mobile Logo

Story posted 2013.08.03 at 04:43 PM PDT
KTVU mobile News

Richmond police arrested a total of 210 people at a non-violent protest outside the Chevron refinery Saturday, according to police officials.

A group of around 1200 people gathered at the Richmond BART station and marched more than two miles to the refinery around 10 a.m. Saturday, according to Police Capt. Mark Gagan.
Police estimate more than 2500 people gathered at the refinery and listened to speeches by activists, environmentalists and local dignitaries, Gagan said.

Following the speeches, a group of more than 500 people pushed police officers back on to Chevron property about 25 feet and then sat down, Gagan said.

After police notified them that they were trespassing, those that failed to leave were arrested.

Police arrested and cited a total of 209 people for trespassing, and one person for battery.

Gagan said the individual arrested on suspicion of battery arrest was not there in support of the protest.

Those arrested were taken to a local fire station, cited and released from that location.

No property was damaged during the protest and no one was injured, Gagan said.

The march and protest was held to commemorate the first anniversary of an Aug. 6th refinery fire.

It comes one day after Richmond city leaders and their attorneys filed litigation against Chevron in connection with the fire.

The lawsuit alleges the explosion and blaze at the Richmond refinery on Aug. 6, 2012, resulted from "years of neglect, lax oversight and corporate indifference to necessary safety inspection and repairs."

The fire occurred after a leak in a corroded pipe in the refinery's crude oil unit created a large cloud of hydrocarbon vapor that ignited in a fireball at about 6:30 p.m. that day.
The fire burned for several hours before being controlled and sent a huge plume of toxic black smoke over the area. More than 15,000 people were treated at hospitals for respiratory problems and other illnesses.

The lawsuit, authorized by the City Council last week after months of failed negotiations with Chevron, seeks financial compensation for economic damage to the city, including the costs of emergency response, firefighting, environmental cleanup, alleviating harm to public health, and loss of value in city property.

When KTVU asked Chevron spokesperson Melissa Ritchie for her response to activists who say that the company values profits over community safety, she said that "operating safely is one of our core values."

"Nothing is more important to us than protecting people and the environment. This drives everything we do," said Ritchie. "It's not just the right thing to do, it's good for business. When we operate safely, we operate reliably, and that's critically important in running a successful refinery."
Daily Kos
Summerheat: Arrests as 2000+ March to Richmond Climate Justice Rally
by boatsie Aug 03, 2013 3:07pm PDT
Over 2000 showed up in Richmond, CA on Saturday as part of the Summer of Heat to mark the One Year Anniversary of the Chevron Fire.
Just returned from the Summer of Heat rally outside Chevron Refinery where hundreds volunteered to be arrested. An incredible day for Climate Justice.  Tweeted out some pictures but had two dogs in tow so wasn't able to do anything in the way of reporting. So I'll just let my iPhone pics tell the story.  (Navajo and Citizven were at the rally also but I only saw Glen the Plumber, TLO, and Remembrance. Pictures of them below)
A young protestor with his 90-year-old grandmother discuss why they are volunteering to be arrested with local media.
A young Climate Justice activist waits to join the march in old town Richmond park.
SunFlowers. SunPower.
Glen the Plumber and TLO part of Bike the Math to Chevon Refinery
The march approaches Chevron Refinery
Remembrance just in front of stage outside Chevron refinery
Crowd gathers outside gates of Chevron refinery.
Bill McKibben with wife and demonstrator before taking stage.
boatsie with Emma and a barely visible Aggie Pocket just outside the gates blocking entrance to Chevron Refinery. A 350.org volunteer spread out a string of red flags to mark the spot where protestors willing to be arrested would line up.
Do you hear us, CHEVRON?
Amazing how one word when perfectly illustrated can so perfectly convey a collective POV
I know these people... Glen the Plumber and TLO alongside freeway as march proceeds to refinery
remembrance listens to speakers at rally
more back stage shots
after two hours Aggie Pocket and Emma need water ... so we head back towards home.
And in the end. Food Justice and Food Security. Clean water. Clean Air. Clean Skies. Healthy Soil. Imagine.
Everything is so organized. Protestors leave signs behind stage in preparation for next demonstration. Buckets passed to collect funds. A Forward on Climate Bus heads towards back of rally later to pick up supplies.