Victory in Shutting Down Oakland Coal Porthttp://www.solidarity-us.org/node/4746
Publisher: Against the Current
Date Written: 01/09/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21468
On July 19, 2016, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to turn down the application for export of coal to Asia through a bulk commodities terminal under construction at the city's port.
It's an important victory for the residents of Oakland and the result of a popular mobilization. Under the developers' plan, coal trains would have been rolling through town, spreading coal dust in already environmentally challenged communities.
Opposition to the coal export facility was organized for over a year by a coalition of environmental organizations, from the Sierra Club to System Change Not Climate Change. Hearings and demonstrations over the past year heard detailed testimony about health and safety issues.
The coalition hammered away on the city's obligation to enforce its laws on city-controlled land. Michael Rubin, a coalition activist and member of Solidarity's Ecosocialist Working Group, explained to Against the Current that the property was turned over to the city by the federal government after the closure of an army base.