A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
Note: Twenty-two activist climbers from Greenpeace blockaded the Fred Hartmann Bridge in Baytown, Texas Thursday morning in order to shutdown what they called “the largest fossil fuel thoroughfare” in the country. The following is a letter from one of the activists on the bridge.
I’m currently blocking the Fred Hartman bridge in Houston, Texas as one of 22 Greenpeace climbers actively shutting down the largest petrochemical complex in the country. I gotta say—I’m nervous and anxious and scared, but today, we’re taking the power back from Trump and the oil industry.
I’m not afraid to tell these bullies their time is up.
I know what we’re doing is brazen, but we’re blocking the largest oil export shipping channel for some of the richest, most polluting oil companies in world like ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell. And, with the next Democratic presidential debate happening tonight only miles from where we are in Houston, all eyes will be on us and our demand for urgent climate action.
See it for yourself:
I can’t say much because of where I am, but I don’t want to see every single corner of this country be exploited for fossil fuels while communities are being torn apart by oil spills, chemical fires, and more extreme floods, fires, droughts, and storms. If we don’t rise up and resist Trump and the oil industry right now, we’ll soon be at the point of no return.
What’s most infuriating about being here is that the refineries in the area have a major chemical incident EVERY 6 weeks—poisoning local black and brown people and low income communities who quite literally live all around this giant petrochemical complex.
This is why I’m up here—high enough to see the smokestacks, methane flares, cooling towers, and oil tankers of the “energy capital of America”—to send this loud and urgent demand: we deserve a world with millions of high-paying, union jobs that sustain families instead of poisoning them, where our shared climate, water, and air comes before the profits of oil executives.
We’re in a climate emergency and we must resist,
For the planet, for the climate, for future.
Piper is a Greenpeace activist and campaigner.
First published in Common Dreams. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.