The (Solar) Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Case in point:   Richmond, CA had the largest demonstration in its history Saturday, August 3–2,000 people marched over two miles from the Richmond BART station to the Chevron main gate.  The demonstration commemorated the fire at Chevron August 6, 2012.  Protestors condemned Chevron for its callous safety record in Richmond, Canada, Ecuador and around the world.  The demands of the march were

  • No More Toxic Hazards
  • No Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
  • No Refining Dirty Crude (e.g. from fracking)
  • Yes to Clean Energy

Speakers included Richmond Mayor Gail McLaughlin, Bill McKibben, and numerous activists from Richmond including nationally recognized Lipo Chanthanasak from the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Over 200 people were arrested in a non-violent direct action for trespassing on Chevron property.  The point of the civil disobedience was to focus attention on Chevron, not to antagonize the police, who were there in force.  The peaceful demonstration and the arrests were all in a positive spirit of “We can do better than fossil fuels”.

So it was a great event, and did receive much positive media coverage.  However, I couldn’t help but notice that the San Francisco Chronicle buried a factually correct but very short article on page 10 of the national news section.  No photos, no details.  Like it was no big deal.

This is where the power of the internet comes in.  We can’t expect mainstream media to support us quite yet; they are still beholden to the oil companies.  Chevron has a lot of political muscle in the Bay Area.  But we can educate ourselves and build this movement until we have the political muscle to overwhelm Chevron and the oil industry.

So here are some of the photos the Chronicle should have run:

 Bill McKibben (on right of photo) with Richmond activists
90 year old woman preparing to be arrested