Pittsburg, California, residents get support from South Africa

The struggle against pollution is global. After viewing the video we produced of the protest in Pittsburg, community and environmental justice organizers in Durban, South Africa, have sent the following message of support.:

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Warm greetings, from the Durban, South Africa’s University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society (http://ccs.ukzn.ac.za), from one who spent a sabbatical at U.Cal-Berkeley in 2010-11 and who for 7 years has lived in the South Durban basin. 

Here, we have the world’s highest-recorded astha rate at a primary school, one located halfway between two massive refineries (Shell, BP, Engen) in Africa’s biggest oil complex. And offshore oil exploration is moving ahead here too, helter-skelter. The damage done by a $25 billion port-petrochem expansion now underway in South Durban can be seen in this 6-minute video produced two months ago. 

Your struggle for local environmental protection plus climate justice in Pittsburg is vital. We all know there must be a ‘Just Transition’ to a post-carbon world, if our planet is to survive the excessive greenhouse gas emissions cooking the poorest parts, and causing your worst-ever recorded water shortage now in California, in the wake of the worst fires in living memory late last year. 

When you take your struggle for local environmental injustice to the global level, you also unite closely with us in South Durban, fighting oil, fighting refining, fighting excessive imports shipped in on new post-Panamax ships with filthy bunker fuel which kill local industry, and fighting the disease and poverty that goes side-by-side with the poisonous fossil fuel industry. 

These fights we often seem to be losing, and nature is screaming out in protest – but by linking up more and more like this, with us becoming aware that there’s a “Global South” of eco-injustice stretching into the working neighbourhoods of Pittsburg, we know we can move forward to victory, together.

Hold strong, the oil industry is a dinosaur, kick it over there, it’ll help us do the same here!

Categories: environment

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