December 23, 2005
Community & Greenaction Blockade Entrance to PG&E Hunters Point Power Plant. Read the San Francisco Chronicle and Dow Jones newswire stories, press releases, new fact sheet “Why We Are Taking Action” and Event Flyer!
For more information, contact:
Bayview Hunters Point Sets April 11 deadline for PG&E Shutdown
By Marie Harrison
From the youngest to the oldest, they sang and cried, “If you
won’t do it for us, then for our children.” A 17-year-old
young man stepped to the center of the circle, telling the crowd gathered
in front of PG&E’s offices, “I have a younger sister
and brother. They both have asthma, and I am not going to sit by
and do nothing to stop them from suffering.”
Bayview Hunters Point mothers, kids and teenagers were joined by Greenaction and other allies in a protest on Dec. 15 in front of PG&E’s headquarters in downtown San Francisco to demand that PG&E close the Hunters Point power plant by the end of March at the absolute latest.
Tired of years of broken promises to close the outdated, polluting and unnecessary power plant and tired of repeated delays, community members issued an ultimatum to PG&E and the state agency in charge of the power grid, the California Independent Systems Operator (ISO). The community and Greenaction announced that either the plant is shut down by April 10, 2006, or, on April 11, the plant will be the focus of a nonviolent civil disobedience action to close the plant.
PG&E stated in a September 2005 meeting of the ISO that the plant will be ready to shut down by mid-March 2006. Unfortunately, PG&E has once again now raised the possibility of yet another delay. In a Nov. 22 letter to the ISO, PG&E’s vice president stated the projected closure date to be sometime in “the first half of 2006.” The closure of the plant has been delayed repeatedly since at least 1998.
“How long must we put up with this kind of disrespect?” asked Tessie Ester, Bayview Hunters Point resident and community leader who lives right next to PG&E. “This is why we know for a fact that we must be the ones to put this monster away, before it takes all of our lives. If the government won’t, then the people will shut down PG&E!”
“Our community expected the shutdown in 1998, but since then numerous delays have been made,” said Maurice Campbell of the Community First Coalition. “Tons of particulate matter has been released into our environment by this plant, and it has inflicted harm on a community which was already suffering with high rates of asthma. There should be no slipping on the date for the shutdown. The people have suffered enough.”
Dozens of people signed pledge cards to attend a nonviolent action at the power plant on April 11 at noon if the plant is still open. Word is spreading throughout Bayview Hunters Point, and supporters are being asked to join the action as well.
This is starting to sound much like back in the day when Black folks and white folks, brown folks and all folks, young and old, stood toe to toe against the racist old Southern regime, singing that we shall not be moved. So from me to you, if you are not yet active in support of this fight, we are now asking you to come, be there on April 11. Show love to our community, and let’s clean up Bayview Hunters Point of its biggest goliath. With your help, we can finally put this philistine champion away for good.
The rally in front of PG&E was sponsored by All Hallows Garden Residents Association, Bayview Hunters Point Mothers Committee, Bay View newspaper, Bayview Samoan Community, Community First Coalition, Environmental Justice Air Quality Coalition, Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice, Huntersview Tenants Association, San Francisco Green Party and PODER.