West Oakland has been dealing with the threat of coal, which would worsen already terrible pollution, since 2015. This global strike day we said no to coal in Oakland and also no to all forms of violence. We came together to support each other, express joy, celebrate life, fight to protect our lives and be able to live together.
Background: For more information on the history of the fight against coal in Oakland, check out these google slides
Words from Fremont & Castlemont Oakland Youth & Julz (YVA Community Organizer)
By organizing this communal event, youth were able to channel their collective power and bring the issues close to their hearts surrounding climate justice to the greater community of Oakland.
Here, we have the words of Climate justice leaders in Oakland to help ground us in the fight moving forward:
“I want to keep coal out of Oakland because these coal industries pollute our air and water, and produce unnecessary waste. The coal industries don’t care about our health and our environment.”
Gladis Pablo, 16, Oakland
"I don't want coal in Oakland because I have seen Black and Brown people discarded when important health and safety decisions are made. Building a coal terminal through a predominantly Black and Brown neighborhood shows us again that the safety of these communities are not valued. We will NOT let Oakland residents be subject to more environmental racism and to be forgotten about again."
Georgia Wallace, 17, Oakland
“Why would we want coal in Oakland?!??? Coal is dangerous and hazardous. Coal causes air pollution and makes our asthma worse. On top of that, Oakland is a city filled with low income neighborhoods and people of color already struggling with day to day tasks: putting food on their tables, clothes on their children's backs, affordable housing, police brutality, school shootings, violence of all forms, and garbage and homeless filling the streets more and more everyday. Add coal on top of that and you're killing an already dying community. Oakland doesn't need coal, OAKLAND NEEDS LIFE!"
Marlay'ja Hackett, 16, Oakland
The youth have made it clear that they stand directly against death, injustice, and the development of a poisonous coal terminal in the place they call home. They extend this grace to all places who are dealing with environmental racism and struggling against profit-hungry developers who wish to sacrifice the health of young people. The youth are fighting for life. So, join the youth, and say NO TO COAL and YES TO LIFE!