Tag Archives: Valero refinery

Occupy The Machine Action at Houston Refinery Postponed

11 Apr

Folks from the Occupy The Machine (OTM) coalition have sent out a letter announcing a decision to postpone their announced action later this month. The following letter explains their reasoning. While it is disappointing that the OTM call to action, and the Deep Green Resistance network that spurred it, continues to be words on a screen, it is also encouraging that their simple threat of action against a major refinery resulted in concessions to a local impacted community. Perhaps OTM’s call for action this Fall in Appalachian coal regions, or “District 12” as many are coming to know it, will manifest into something more fruitful…

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Dear friends and supporters,
Occupy the Machine organizers have made a very difficult decision. We have decided to postpone our refinery blockade action until further notice. We did not make the decision lightly. We are extremely disappointed that we have to postpone this action, but very comfortable that we made the right choice. Of the many factors that contributed to this decision, there are two in particular that weighed heavily on our collective conscience.

OTM’s mission includes a central focus on solidarity with all impacted communities. The public announcement of our campaign has inspired Valero to offer concessions to the residents of Manchester that live in the refinery’s shadow. Continue reading

“An Escalating Campaign Against Fossil Fuel Extraction Begins This April”

21 Mar

The largest industrial project on the face of the earth, Alberta, Canada’s Tar Sands (Photo originally posted here)

Occupy the Machine announces plan for actions on the Gulf Coast of Texas

The Occupy the Machine Coalition (OTM), born out of the newly-formed Deep Green Resistance network has called, has issued an Earth Day call to action “in honor of struggles against the extraction industry everywhere; in memory of the workers whose lives were taken by BP Two Years Ago,”

OTM has called for a festival of resistance and alternatives to the fossil fuel economy, in the shadow of the Houston Valero refinery, culminating in a refinery blockade on the dates of April 19th – 24th in Hartmann Park of the Manchester Neighborhood, Houston, Texas.

OTM says it chose the location because Keystone XL Pipeline will take oil from the Alberta Tar Sands, one of the most ecologically devastating projects on the face of the planet, to be refined by Valero and other companies in Houston. These refineries are surrounded by working-class neighborhoods throughout the Gulf, bringing cancer-causing toxins directly into their backyards. The majority of the Tar Sands oil processed in these refineries will be shipped overseas, ensuring that North American oil workers and those whose rights and lives have been uprooted by these companies won’t even see any long-term benefit for themselves.

Meanwhile, two years after the Deep Water Horizon explosion that killed 11 workers and devastated the communities of the Gulf, BP has had a record year of profits. BP has escaped justice yet again in its recent legal victory against the shrimpers and fishermen who they’ve put out of work and the families of the workers who died under their watch.

Valero Refinery, Houston, Texas (Photo by People's Freedom Caravan, 2007)

OTM, a coalition which includes area organizers, is inviting those who oppose the tar sands to build the power of our communities, amplify the voices of those most affected by companies like Valero, to blockade a refinery in the area. Friday, April 20th will be the beginning, with escalating blockades as necessary.

“Waves of support will be welcome and needed.”

Here’s how OTM’s call to action says you can participate:

“We need it all. There are as many levels of involvement and risk as there are individuals, affinity groups, and organizations willing to participate.

Not everyone will want to risk arrest by participating in the refinery blockade. That’s OK. However, many people are willing and able to take that risk. We appreciate all levels of commitment.

There will be room and plans for those who wish to cooperate with the police, and there will be room and plans for those who do not wish to cooperate with the police that wish to engage in jail solidarity tactics. Come prepared to tell us what you want to do Continue reading