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 350.org 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

One Response to “SoCal Sunrise Movement Rallies to Stop Oil Drilling”

  1. Devine, James Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 7:51 am #

    Barry,

    Have you ever communicated with the PROGRESSIVE magazine? The magazine has a monthly story with this kind of news.

    In solidarity,

    Take care, stay well, and enjoy the ride!

    Jim Devine
    5449 Blanco Way.
    Culver City, CA 90203
    jdevine@lmu.edu & jdevine03@gmail.com

    310 636-0101 land-line
    310 488-4124 cell

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