On July 26th, in the midst of the DNC, frontline leaders from Philly and around the world hosted a “Toxic Tour” of Philadelphia Energy Solution’s oil refinery and the toxic, extractive economy it embodies. PhillyThrive stood alongside Action United, LeftRoots, and Global Grassroots Justice Alliance, who organized the It Takes Roots Caravan that started at the RNC in Cleveland and ended at the DNC in Philly. The group mobilised after inviting Governor Wolf to the tour. When he didn’t show up, we knew we’d have to continue the fight that is always led by the people.
Those from the frontlines were the guests of honor as they shared stories of multinational corporations oppressing indigenous peoples in Honduras, living next to PES and being forced to inhale its cyanide-laced air, and others stories of struggle from those most impacted by the fossil fuel economy.
Refinery workers, pedestrians, and other onlookers observed over 50 people, two banners, several yellow flags flying the message “It takes roots to change the system,” and an 11-foot sculpture of the late freedom fighter Berta Caceres.
Folks from Global Grassroots Justice Alliance place flowers in the refinery’s gates.
PhillyThrive member Chinara Bilaal ties together multiple issues, telling of how the refinery is emblematic of environmental racism.