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East Bay | Anti-War

Chevron Blockade
by tristan
Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM
Pretty good protest and lockdown in Richmond at Chevron.

In Richmond, CA we protested the war in Iraq (etc.), Environmental Racism and Global Warming by blockading the Chevron oil refinery. We gathered at noon for speakers then marched to the refinery. Chevron had been shut down all day in anticipation of our protest. We marched to one of the main gates and people laid out lock down tubes and barrels and up to 50 people locked themselves down. Bands played, there was street theater and food. people danced and denounced the war and Chevron. The police had the entrance blocked with barricades and many police but said that they would not arrest people. After many hours the lockdown was ended. people held a circle gathering then quickly moved the barricades and went toward Chevron. Police were startled but formed a line and people sat down. Other people took down the rest of the barricade and put it out in the intersection to keep the street closed. People sat in front of the police for several more hours. Eventually the police arrested 25 people. We were then forced onto the sidewalk with quite reduced numbers. We held a quick rally and headed home.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Street theater in front of toxic Chevron.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Lockdown with barrels and tubes.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

All of Chevron's sign had been covered up to stop damage or make it less photogenic for our protest.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

The brass liberation orquestra played.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

The lockdown and others in front of police barricade.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

hanging a banner from a light pole.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Protesters past the police barricade sit down to be arrested.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Waiting for arrest.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Police barricades remained where the protesters had left them, rearranged.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

many more police arrive.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

A picket line is set up in support of the sitting people.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Singing some fun songs.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

The police line is reinforced with CHP officers.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

The police chief gives an order to disperse.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Police begin to arrest those still sitting.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

Arrestees are loaded into trucks.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

This officer has a rubber bullet gun (in his hands), a tear gas gun (on his shoulder), a pistol (on his hip) and a Tazer (on his other hip not seen in the photo). Yet he onle seems to have two arms?
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

The closing comments before we go home.
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by tristan Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 9:30 PM

A Richmond resident and longtime organizer against the refinery gives the last word.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by overkill
Saturday Mar 15th, 2008 11:33 PM
these cops came for a extraction, not a protest. glad they didn't overkill and look stupid. that cop wishes he could work for blackwater....
by Leni
Sunday Mar 16th, 2008 9:00 AM
Those aerial shots are impressive. Did you use a little balloon?

Thanks for caring enough to attend, everyone!
by Mario
Sunday Mar 16th, 2008 9:59 AM
i'm glad i attended the rally and march yesterday. We have to get away from primarily having actions in Berkeley, Oakland (occasionally ) , and SF. In that context i think it was important to have a major antiwar action in relatively small (80, 000) Mostly Black and Latino lower working class Richmond.
But there was a couple of problems . First, very few Richmond residents even saw our demo. We marched thru the small Point Richmond shopping area but only a handful of locals observed (. Perhaps we could have re-routed the march thru more populous areas. )
The C.D. was the main problem . I , and many others, will participate in Civil Disobedience ONLY when we actually interfere with '' Business as Usual ' . That wasn't the case yesterday. We blocked a entrance that had already been closed by the cops and Chevron mgmt. No one was blocked from entering . No problems for Chevron tops under than some work hours spent with the Richmond Pd and the CHP making arrangements to make sure there was no disruption of production ! Which there wasn't.
by crit
Sunday Mar 16th, 2008 11:08 AM
"We have to get away from primarily having actions in Berkeley, Oakland (occasionally ) , and SF."

I've heard this before, and I think people take this on faith, but I'm not sure it survives close inspection. I think your other point is more important, which is that "we" might want to seek more disruptive (effective?) CD tactics. I think its much more likely for "us" to come up with powerful CD on our home turf... wherever that is (wherever "we" actually are), rather than traveling to "less privileged" communities as a sort of evangelical or missionary direct action movement.
by quetzy
Sunday Mar 16th, 2008 6:02 PM
You say that "No problems for Chevron tops under than some work hours spent with the Richmond Pd and the CHP making arrangements to make sure there was no disruption of production ! Which there wasn't."

I'm guessing that you are referring to interviews from Chevron that "there was no disruption of production"....The gate we were blocking wasn't where production would have been effected, it was a key point for distribution of gas I'm not sure we stopped all gas trucks from loading and leaving to deliver their gas....but I'll bet we "disrupted" the flow of gas out of the refinery...
I'll pass on the tactical debate re CD but i do have a different question . Was there any attempt to reach out to the Unionized workers at Chevron ? The Union in question is P.A.C.E. .(a fusion of the Oil. Chemical and Atomic workers Union with the Paperworkers Union)
The Union was active on several progressive fronts in the 80's and 90's. taking strong positions against the US intervention in Central American wars for example . Some labor activists say that the leadership moved noticably to the right when they merged with the Paperworkers but hopefully there was still some outreach even if the local's leadership wasn't receptive .
Before any future actions i would suggest leafleting the workers there, to try to counter Chevron 's inevitable propaganda that'' THEY (that is, us ) are trying to shut US (ie Mgmt. and labor , as if their interests are the same ! ) down ! ''
So does anyone know, was there pre-3-15 outreach to the workers at Chevron ?
by Mario
Monday Mar 17th, 2008 2:50 PM
You raised some good points Quetzy . Though when i wrote ''production '' I didn't mean just literal production . I meant their daily operation .
I would never take something a Chevron PR person says at face value . Though even they don't lie all the time !
Re the earlier comments about where to have direct action, whether to stick to your city etc. , I consider myself a resident of the Bay Area . I reside in Alameda, work in Pleasanton , attend Union and other political meetings in Oakland and San Francisco , and i'm involved with a woman in San Francisco .
So where's my ''community ''?