Bob Lindsey and Diane Wilson on the 11th day of a Sustained Hunger Strike to demand that Valero completely divest from the KXL Pipeline and vacate the Manchester community of Houston that they have been poisoning and exploiting for decades. They are pictured here wearing masks as a display of solidarity with all those who do not have the privilege of having their identity exposed. In the neighborhood of Manchester many people have differing levels of “legal” status. Let us make their struggle our struggle as well. ¡Compañer@s en la rebeldía!
Bob Lindsey Comments On His 11th Day of a Sustained Hunger Strike
Diane and I are on our 11th day of our hunger strike. My body may be beginning to weaken, but my spirits are high. The outpouring of support has been very gratifying. We are especially glad about and proud of the support we have received from the community of Manchester. On Dec 3rd the Valero refinery Diane and I were locked down in front of and a key supporter of the KXL Pipeline, released a dangerous and illegal amount of 1,3 Butadiene into the air. The residents of Manchester were not informed about this incident.
The KXL pipeline will bring Tar Sands to this already overburdened community and the dangers of toxic emissions will only increase. We are actively working to raise the awareness within the community that they do not have to tolerate this kind of behavior from Valero. It is their community and we hope that our actions will help to empower them to take it back. We are heartened to see that there are already many signs that this is happening.
Diane Wilson’s Comments on the 11th Day of a Sustained Hunger Strike
Hate to tell ya’ll but six months ago I was real despondent about the state of this planet. But today, on the eleventh day of the hunger fast and after five days in what I now consider the worst county jail in Texas- Houston’s Harris County Jail- I have never felt such joy. My body may be tired and my legs weak, but my heart soars from the demonstrations of solidarity from the Tar Sands Blockaders who are doing such an amazing job with so little funding and resources. Just goes to show you that through direct action change can be made. We can do it if we just take our courage, our bodies, and be bold!
I’m from a small fishing village on the Texas Gulf Coast that is surrounded by some of the top polluting industries in the nation. One of our bays became a superfund because of the 1.2 million pounds of mercury “lost” by Alcoa. Sometimes I think I’ve seen it all, but the community of Manchester is unbelievable. Industry surrounds the people. It is especially dominated by a Valero refinery that is prepared to process the majority of the tar sands that will be brought in to the US via the Keystone XL Pipeline. In this refinery if a huge tank of some toxic chemical overflows, it overflows into the yards of the people who live in the community. Here the rate of leukemia in children is 56 percent higher than the national average. Manchester also has the highest concentrations of 1,3 Butadiene in Texas, over 11 times more than what is allowed in a toxic waste dump. Theirs is an unending war and Valero has the weapon of destruction. A popular motto of the unions was that an injury to one is an injury to all. Well, make no mistake, Manchester is being harmed. In this community health, homes, children’s lives, and dreams are being destroyed. We must not be silent to this destruction! Stand in solidarity with the community of Manchester.