Hundreds rally in Oakland to demand No Coal – No Compromise
Hundreds came out to City Hall (Oscar Grant Plaza) to call for “No Coal – No Compromise” on a sunny Saturday afternoon two days before the Oakland City Council takes up a proposed ban on coal storage and handling at the city’s export terminal at a special meeting, Monday 27 June at 5pm.
No Coal in Oakland activist Michael Kaufman reminded the crowd of Monday’s special meeting of the City Council, and outlined what each Oaklander can do to influence the council vote — whether they were able to attend the rally or not. Details on how to phone and e-mail your support for a ban on coal in Oakland in advance of Monday’s 5pm meeting is included at the bottom of this article, following the photos.
Speakers at the rally included State Senator Loni Hancock, who has introduced bills to restrict coal handling and shipping throughout California; Ms. Margaret Gordon, of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project; and Kim Moses, President of the SEIU Local 1021 Port Chapter. Performers included Desirae Harp, Kujichagulia, Occupella, the Musicians Action Group, and the Justin Ancheta Band. The Rev. Ken Chambers, West Side Missionary Baptist Church, was Master of Ceremonies.
In a statement prior to the rally, Kimberly Moses, President of SEIU 1021 Port Chapter, explained that “We need an economy that grows good jobs for everybody in the community, not one that pollutes neighborhoods and pushes out sustainable industries. SEIU 1021–along with 21 others union and the Alameda Labor Council–completely oppose shipping coal through Oakland to the OBOT terminal. We call on the City Council this Monday to vote to prohibit coal and pet coke through this site, and to protect everyone who could be hurt by this developer’s scheme.”
Dr. Heather Kuiper, a member of the Public Health Advisory Panel that last week released a report warning of health and safety dangers of the coal plan, says, “As public health professionals, our evidence-based determination is that the most effective way to protect Oakland’s residents, in particular in West Oakland, from the hazards introduced by the transport, storage, and handling of coal is to prohibit these activities. We could not find evidence that the proposed mitigation measures would effectively protect Oakland’s residents; to the contrary our investigation suggests the possibility that these very measures may introduce new hazards into the city.”
Call and e-mail your City Council rep Today!
Please pick up the phone and call your City Council member, at-large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, and Mayor Libby Schaaf today, in advance of Monday’s special meeting. E-mail is another way to let councilmembers know how their constituencies want them to vote, but phone calls are more influential. Both is best!
Your message can be simple: just let them know you’re against coal trains and coal storage in Oakland, and that you want them to ban coal from the export terminal at the former Oakland Army Base development.
If you’re not sure who your City Council member is, click the button below, then click on where you live:Find My Council District
District 1 – Dan Kalb
District 2 – Abel Guillén
District 3 – Lynnette Gibson McElhaney
District 4 – Annie Campbell Washington
District 5 – Noel Gallo
District 6 – Desley Brooks
District 7 – Larry Reid
At-Large (represents all Oakland residents) – Rebecca Kaplan
Mayor Libby Schaaf
photo credits: Michael Eisenscher and Steve Masover