People to Reklaim: NO. We STILL don't want you here.
It seems that the wealthy industrialists and the corrupt city officials who attempted to sneak a toxic waste dump into St Helens cannot take NO for an answer. Not even a resounding NO. Well, sooner or later, they will have to. Because we are NOT going to tolerate a tire burning plant here on the banks of the Columbia, in our community.
Earlier this month, the people of St Helens gathered to demonstrate their ferocious opposition to the attempt by Reklaim Technologies to site a tire burning plant in our town. We did so in spite of the sneaky, underhanded attempt on the part of our corrupt city officials (most notably, city planner Skip Baker) to sell us out. Baker made a backroom deal with Reklaim, and did not even bother to notify the people of this community that we were about to be assaulted by the dirty, smelly, toxic fallout that spells profit and dollars for a few, and poison and waste for the rest. Apparently, we were not worth consulting about this, as Baker did not want to be bothered with pesky public input.
Word got out, though, and before the ink was dry on the first checks, the people of St Helens were organizing. Neighbors went door to door to tell each other of the betrayal, clandestine meetings were held in our houses to plan our resistance, and we fought back. In spite of all the obstacles and treachery, the people prevailed. After a bloody fierce battle, we kicked Reklaim's filthy, dirty ass out of town. In no uncertain terms, we let them know that we will NOT tolerate their disrespectful, cavalier, profiteering schemes in our community. We fought them with all our might, because we understood that our lives depended on it. Skip Baker and the other colluding, corrupt, foolish, short-sighted asses who did not think it worth consulting with us hung their heads in shame and skulked away.
On the day after their stunning defeat, Reklaim officials issued a dark warning to the people of St Helens. Said their smug communique, "We will carefully consider our options and next steps as it relates to siting a facility in St Helens, Oregon." That's PR-speak for "Fuck you. We don't care what you think, or what you want for your own community. We want what you have, and we plan to just take it. We have The Law on our side. We have Money on our side. We have a handfull of corrupt, scheming city officials on our side. You haven't seen the last of us."
And so it was not really a surprise to learn, yesterday, that Reklaim has just filed an appeal to the ruling that handed them their walking papers. They decided that it should not matter that no one in St Helens wants their dirty, dangerous, toxic mess in our community. It should not matter that facilities like this one have proven harmful to the people who live near them. It should not matter that such facilities have devastated each and every community where they have been sited. It should not matter that the people of this community care more about the safety of their families than they do the bottom lines of a few wealthy industrialists who live far away, in mansions, in communities that do NOT have tire burning plants in them. The only thing that should matter, they say, is profit. They want our land, our air, our water, they say, and we should not be able to stop them from taking it. They want to convert our community, our "resources," into profit and who are we to stand in their way? Arrogantly spouting the elite "consensus" of the new global order, they have decided that the health and safety of "the little people" is irrelevant. The liveability of our community is irrelevant. The sustainability of our environment is irrelevant. The Law has elevated property, wealth and profit above all other worldly concerns, and they mean to capitalize on that.
Ah. Not so fast, though.
Because we have had more than enough. We have already been promised "safety" and "jobs" and then left poisoned by schemes just like this one. We know what their promises of "progress" really mean. Our eyes are open. And we are not about to give up this fight. If we must, we will take this apart brick by brick. There will be NO tire burning plant in St Helens, and these disrespectful, classist assholes who think that their lawyers and their dollars can make us not matter, because we are a poor, working class community, well they will see what it means to go against people who fight for their children, their families, their lives. They will see what happens when rich, arrogant, fools stray so far out of touch with reality that they imagine themselves somehow superior, somehow immune to the voices and indeed, the fury, of The People.
No. There will be NO tire burning plant in St Helens.
Reklaim is expected to attempt to make their case at the City Council meeting on July 19th, at 6pm, at the St Helens High School, in the Loowit room. When they have said their piece, it will be our turn. The People of St Helens ask for solidarity. We need a show of force. They will bring lawyers and ultimatums and fists full of money. WE need to bring our voices. We need to bring our bodies. We need to bring our comrades. We need to bring our strength and our courage and our commitment to protect each other from the predations of corporate America.
If you are an environmental activist, an environmental lawyer, or someone who cares about the earth and your comrades, please come to the City Council meeting on July 19th for this showdown. We thank you.
contribute to this article
contribute to this article
add comment to discussion
view discussion from this article