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Mon Aug 5 2013 (Updated 08/06/13) Anniversary of Fire at Chevron's Richmond Refinery Marked with Huge Protest at Gates
Hundreds Arrested at Sit-In, Thousands March on Chevron in Richmond, CA On August 3, over 2,000 people marched from the Richmond BART station to Chevron's Richmond refinery. Marchers painted a large sunflower on the street in front of the gate, symbolic of the need to bioremediate the toxic pollution put out by the oil refinery. Some planted sunflower starts in the soil that surrounds the Chevron plant and others cast seed bombs into the petroleum company's landscaping. Over 200 people were arrested at a sit-in at the gate and released on the scene.

Last year, on August 6, a major fire started at the Chevron refinery, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air around Richmond and the greater Bay Area. Since then, many people from Richmond have complained of smoke inhalation, runny nose, coughing, and asthma-like symptoms due to the fire. The fire started from a pipeline rupture and sent a fireball into the sky, creating a plume of smoke that lingered for days around the city. More than 15,000 people visited hospitals with complaints of respiratory problems in the hours and days following the explosion. A lawsuit was filed August 1, 2013, two days before the march, claiming that Chevron "sacrificed safety over profits." The lawsuit cites 14 similar incidents since 1989 that the Chevron petroleum refinery is responsible for.

The August 3 action was called by the Bay Area Sumer Heat Coalition and includes the Keystone Action Council, Idle No More, Communities for a Better Environment, and 350 Bay Area, as well as many other organizations and individuals. There will be a protest on the one-year anniversary of the explosion on August 6 at Richmond Civic Center Plaza. On August 17, the coalition that organized the action will meet at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists.

photoRead More | photoUnionists Join Rally In Richmond | calendarEvent Announcement

Previoius Related Indybay Feature: Chevron Fire in Richmond Sends Hundreds to Hospitals

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