From the November-December 2021 issue of News & Letters
San Francisco—As part of the ongoing Climate Strike, Fridays For Future, on Aug. 27 several hundred, mostly youth, gathered in front of a federal building to call attention to a number of issues. The top one was a proposed pipeline, Line 3, that would carry 915,000 barrels of tar sands oil, one of the dirtiest fuels on earth, from Canada through wetlands and the treaty territory of Anishinaabe peoples, through Minnesota, the Mississippi River and the shores of Lake Superior to Wisconsin.
The Enbridge company, which wants to build this pipeline, is already responsible for the largest inland oil spill in the U.S. In addition to the damage caused to the environment by inevitable spills, it would carry enough oil to produce carbon dioxide equivalent to emissions from 50 coal power plants, or 38 million vehicles, per year.
Youth Vs Apocalypse also wanted to draw attention to the fact that CalSTRS—California public teachers’ pension fund, the largest teachers’ pension fund in the country—invests $6 billion in fossil fuels, including millions in Enbridge. They say it’s ironic that teachers, who prepare students for the future, have their retirement invested in denying a future to all. (To take action go to youthvsapocalypse.org.)
ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM FOUGHT
Environmental racism happens right in San Francisco, too. Youth call for holding Lennar/FivePoint company responsible for building homes in a heavily contaminated area, Bayview Hunters Point, a low-income community of color, whose residents suffer from high rates of asthma and cancer. Despite alleged fraud on the completely inadequate clean-up, the company wants to build thousands more homes there.
This is a public health emergency! Youth Vs Apocalypse calls for a moratorium on development and unsafe soil excavation, and for a full, safe clean-up and removal of all radioactive and toxic waste from Bayview and Treasure Island.
At the same time and place, caregivers are calling on Nancy Pelosi to ensure Biden’s infrastructure bill will contain the $400 billion for homecare jobs and homecare access. Caregivers formed a grassroots coalition with older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers to advocate for dignity for all people who need or provide care. They proudly held signs that proclaimed: “We, home and care workers, are essential!”