The fight for the climate

Feline-Finesse-dancers-Climate-Justice-sign-Earth-Day-Rally-by-Johnnie-Burrell-042222, The fight for the climate, Local News & Views News & Views
At this year’s Earth Day rally in San Francisco, Feline Finesse Dance Company, our favorite dance sisterhood straight outta Bayview Hunters Point, marched and later performed hip-hop and West African dance on the steps of City Hall as the crowd roared. – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

by Barry Hermanson

Friday, May 22, was Earth Day. Wikipedia provides us with this history: “Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by involving 1 billion people in more than 193 countries. The official theme for 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet.” 

In San Francisco, a youth-led Earth Day Climate Strike started at 10 a.m. A march was followed by speeches on the steps of City Hall. The demands are very clear: Clean Up The Shipyard! 

The pollution at the shipyard impacts everyone in the Bay Area. In the coming years, with rising sea levels, the entire bay will be contaminated by radioactive material. Dust, carried by wind that has passed over contaminated land spreads far and wide. 

It was impossible not to be moved, listening to the pleas of the young people. “Clean up my neighborhood!” “Clean up the world.” Lincoln High School students painted a mural on the sidewalk with these words: “Get Radiation Out of Bayview Now!”

Although many politicians were invited, only one chose to attend the rally. Was it because so few people in the crowd were old enough to vote? The Bayview Hunters Point community has waited a long time for a political ally. 

The shipyard is a valuable piece of property. The power of real estate interests, the kind that just elected Supervisor Matt Haney to the state Assembly is on full display. No politician is leading an effort to clean up the shipyard. 

District Attorney Chesa Boudin gave an excellent speech near the end of the rally. The crowd welcomed his words, at times roaring approval. They were never told of the June 7 recall election that threatens to remove him from office.

Last month, April Green wrote: “Our race depends on it”: STOP the recall of DA Chesa Boudin!

Youth-vs-Apocalypse-at-Earth-Day-Rally-by-Johnnie-Burrell-042222.JPG-1-1400x670, The fight for the climate, Local News & Views News & Views
Bay Area youth are rising up! Nobody is clamoring for justice for Black, Brown and poor communities like our kids. The organization Youth Vs. Apocalypse, one of the leads behind Earth Day rally, formed originally in 2018 as a group of Oakland youth using direct action and lobbying to fight a proposed coal terminal in their city. – Photo: Johnnie Burrell

“When I heard Boudin was bringing charges against the officer who murdered my nephew Keita O’Neil, I was in disbelief. I felt numb and like I was entering the twilight zone. It was hard for my mind to wrap around the thought of a white man caring enough for my folks to take up the mantle of justice, fairness and equality. 

“Boudin doesn’t just give my family ‘hope,’ but gives hope to many others who have lost loved ones at the hands of other police officers.” 

One of Chesa’s campaign slogans is: “Stop the Republican Funded Recall.” Until June 7, I’m going to spend much of my free time working to keep Chesa Boudin in office. I hope you will join me. Tell your friends, neighbors and family about the recall. San Francisco Voters: On June 7, Vote No on Prop. H! 

Barry Hermanson is a Green Party of California Coordinating Committee member and a former small business owner. Contact him at or 415-255-9494.