Archive | October, 2021

SoCal Sunrise Movement Rallies to Stop Oil Drilling

12 Oct

About 100 people, on Monday, Oct. 11., mostly Sunrise Movement youth activists, rallied outside of the Wells Fargo Bank Building in Long Beach to demand “an END (sic) to offshore drilling, according to a Sunrise Movement Orange County webpage event announcement, while inside the building were the offices of Beta Offshore, the firm that ran the failed pipeline, causing, the oil spill, in early October off Huntington Beach in Orange County.

Josiah Edwards, 21, spokesperson for Sunrise Movement Los Angeles speaks, Monday, Oct. 11, at rally to end oil drilling; Photo by Barry Saks

One speaker at the rally was Josiah Edwards, the spokesperson from Sunrise Movement Los Angeles. Edwards, 21, said, “(W)e understand that our generation is going to be the one that inherits the world of climate catastrophe and climate disaster. We are in the frontlines of this crisis simply by the nature of our age. We are put at risk by the exploitation that is perpetuated against black and brown folks, indigenous folks, young people and poor and working-class folks because corporations, like, … Beta Offshore and Amplify Energy … believe it’s alright to take advantage of us young people, to take advantage of black and brown folks, to take advantage of poor folks….We are the generation on fire because these  people set us on fire, in the same way they set this state on fire, in the same way they our oceans on fire, in the same they set our communities on fire, they put us on fire… And now we are burning of flame of a generation that will continue to fight and make sure that we put an end to all offshore drilling and we put an end to the fossil fuel industry.”

Kenny Allen, 28, who is the Hub Coordinator for of the Sunrise Movement Long Beach, a couple of hours before the rally, by email, said, regarding the demographic makeup of the Sunrise Movement, “(F)rom my experience a majority of our organizers are high-schoolers, college-age students, and recent college graduates. Like most social justice movements, our movement is made up of a majority femme-identified (according to Wikipedia, a term, which ‘is most often a term used to describe a lesbian who exhibits a feminine identity. It is sometimes also used by feminine gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals.’) people.”

Dean Toji, who characterized himself as a member of Long Beach, on Oct. 5, by email, said, “Oil pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure is leaking and spilling all of the time, all across the country and the world. It’s a regular part of their operations.

Toji, who taught Asian-American Studies and Environmental Science and Policy at California State University Long Beach, added, “But even if there’s not an ‘accident,’ think about what happen. The oil goes to the refineries, where it poisons the air breathed by people in West Long Beach, Wilmington and Carson and in Torrance.  Then the processed fuel goes to trucks, cars and ships, as diesel fuel, gasoline and bunker fuel, producing more air pollution and also greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Fossil fuels have to be ended, along with program of just transition for workers in the industry and the surrounding communities.”

According to the Long Beach Chamber of Commerce, Beta Offshore is an oil and gas producer at 111 W. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1240, “operate(ing) three offshore platforms (Ellen, Elly and Eureka, according to Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement) …12 miles south of Long Beach (in Federal waters)” and is “a division of Amplify Energy Corp.”

Allen, at the Long Beach City Council meeting of Tuesday, Oct. 5, said, “This past weekend, another pipeline did what pipelines everywhere are just about guaranteed to do. It burst. This time it was a pipeline in our own backyard connecting the Long Beach oil platform, named Elly to inland operations. The results have been devastating…This Council body is complicit in this spill… I’ve watched you sacrifice the air I breathe, our sacred wetlands and the future of my generation for too long.”

The Orange County Sunrise Movement event announcement also “strongly encouraged” people to comply with local mask mandates and to wear a mask. It also reminded people “outside of Sunrise” that Sunrise believes “in-nonviolent, direct action.”

Sunrise Movement activists on Monday, Oct. 11, demand the end to oil drilling; Photo by Barry Saks

Long Beach Marches for Women’s Reproductive Rights

2 Oct
About 500 marchers gathered in Harvey Milk Promenade Park on Saturday, Oct. 2 to defend women’s reproductive rights, after marching less than a mile from the County of Los Angeles, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse in downtown Long Beach; Photo by Barry Saks

About 500 people in Long Beach, as part of more than 600 events across the U.S. the Women’s March National initiated, on Saturday, Oct. 2, marched and rallied downtown for women’s reproductive rights, in response to recent anti-abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi.

The marchers started on their less-than-a-mile march at the Los Angeles County, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse, 275 Magnolia Ave. From the courthouse, they walked on the sidewalk south toward Ocean Boulevard. From Ocean they turned east toward The Promenade North. From there, they went north toward Harvey Milk Promenade Park, 185 E. Third St., where they heard music and speakers, many of whom were locally elected officials.

Molly Watson, of the California Black Women’s Democratic Club, emceed at the rally at the courthouse and at the park. At the courthouse, Watson led call-and-response chants: Watson shouted, “My Body” and crowd responded with “My decision;” Watson shouted, “Abortion” and the crowd yelled, “Justice.” Another chant consisted of the call of “Hands off” with the response of “My body.”

After the chants, Watson said, “I would be remiss to not go ahead and pay attention to the disparities that we see every single day in particularly here Long Beach as well. We know that black women, brown women, indigenous women have higher rates of death, complications when they are pregnant, when they give birth. We know that access to affordable healthcare is not there for everybody. We know that reproductive rights for a very long time has been a white women’s issue and there are lot of us here who are ready to take a lot of that back. It’s about all of us.”

Emcee Molly Watson (Left), of the California Black Women’s Democratic Club and former 2nd District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce (Right) stand together on Oct. 2, before the next speaker reaches the podium at the Long Beach rally for women’s reproductive rights; Photo by Barry Saks.

In a press release of Sept. 24, from the Long Beach March for Reproductive Rights, former 2nd District Councilwoman Jeannine Pearce, said, “The current attacks on women’s reproductive rights are one part of the efforts to suppress the voices of women and people of color. Suppressing voices is clearly an example of oppression. I urge Congress to act to ensure women remain in control of their bodies. Women refuse to be victims of state oppression. We stand together to make sure we retain control of our bodies and our lives.”

On Sept. 28, Christina Sergy, who characterized herself as a host of the march, in an email, said, “We are so proud to see Long Beach come together so quickly to send a message that Congress must pass the Women’s Health Protection Act (The act codifies the right to an abortion in every state.) and the EACH Act to end the Hyde Amendment (The amendment bans federal funding for abortion except for rape, incest or threat to a women’s life, according to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund).”

According to the “Press-Telegram” of Sept. 29, the march was planned by The Women of Long Beach Political Action Committee, the North Pine Neighborhood Alliance and the Long Beach Resister Sisters.

According to the same press release of Sept. 24, the march was sponsored by Mayor Robert Garcia, Vice Mayor Rex Richardson, Councilmembers: Cindy Allen and Suely Saro, the Democratic Women’s Study Club, the Long Beach Young Democrats, the Long Beach Gray Panthers, Planned Parenthood, the National Association of Social Workers California Chapter, the California Working Families’ Party and the Yes We Can Democratic Club.