March & Rally: A Success!
Despite temperatures soaring beyond 95 degrees, hundreds of Californians gathered in front of the Governor’s Mansion, marched to the Democratic State Convention and throughout the streets of Sacramento on May 20th to demand that our elected officials stop taking money from the oil industry.
Chief Caleen Sisk of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe opened our rally with a prayer for the water. Our emcees for the afternoon were Nalleli Cobo from Stand LA and Cesar Aguirre from Central California Environmental Justice Network. Nalleli shared her story about personal health impacts living near oil operations in Los Angeles, Cesar testified about about the community impacts of oil drilling and why we must continue this fight to get oil money out.
Renowned author and biologist Sandra Steingraber spoke about the real life health impacts of oil and gas extraction in California, and how the gusher of money from the oil industry has prevented us from taking any meaningful action to address this. She said, “The science can’t speak with money in politics. For the science to speak, we need to get oil money out!” Then, Richmond City Councilmember Jovanka Beckles shared her story of how she fought millions from the oil industry and won. And, we saw an amazing performance by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez from Earth guardians who spoke truth to power. And rounding it out, thanks to the band Trapdoor Social, a great band, who played through the solar powered sound system they provided for the event.
Some of our Speakers
Cheif Caleen Sisk | Winnemem Wintu Tribe
Sandra Steingraber | Author and Biologist
David Braun | Rootskeeper - Oil Money Out
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez | Earth Guardians
Adam Scow | Food and Water Watch
Navina Khanna | HEAL Food Alliance
Michael Green | Center for Environmental Health
Michelle Manos | California for Progress
Jovanka Beckles | Richmond City Council
Lydia Ponce | SoCal AIM
Robert Rivas | San Benito County Supervisor
Monic Uriarte | Stand LA
Nalleli Cobo | Stand LA
Cesar Aguirre | ccejn
From the Governor’s Mansion and holding dozens of banners, signs, and even a giant twelve person parachute, we took to the streets and marched through Downtown Sacramento with Indigenous and front line communities leading the way. Along the march route, we took over the streets right outside the convention center where the Democratic State Convention was taking place and engaged in a tug-o-war between The People of California and Big Oil Lobbyists who were tugging and fighting for papier-mache Governor Brown. Folks from the Convention as well as passers by joined the march as participants stopped to explain our calls and chants. We marched back to the Governor’s Mansion and ended our event with a powerful and inspirational performance from Xiuhtezcatl Martinez of Earth Guardians.
The March and Rally was the successful launch of the Oil Money Out, People Power In campaign. Rooted in intention, guided by front line community leaders, and beginning with songs, chants, and gratitude, we opened the doors for all Californians to join the movement to prioritize people's health over industry profits.