From June 22nd - 26th,
2010, Global Community Monitor joined thousands of other activists and
organizations to take part in building a social change movement at the
US Social Forum in Detroit, Michigan.
Drawing on our
expertise in working with fenceline communities fighting toxic
indusutral pollution, we took part in two Environmental Justice panels
to build collective power and resilience against climate change and the
negative health impact of tar sands crude oil from Alberta, Canada. We
collaborated with hundreds who shared our vision for clean air and safe
communities. Additionally, GCM learned first hand the health impacts of
Alberta’s tar sands from the Indigenous cultures who live amongst them.
From rare cancers to polluted food sources, the First Nations have
been on the front lines of the fight against toxic pollution.
On Friday, GCM led a
Detroit-focused direct action, a toxic tour of the most toxic zip code
in Michigan: 48217. This zipcode in Southwest Detroit is surrounded by
heavy industry including the Marathon Refinery which has begun refining
Alberta’s tar sands crude oil. We led activists attending the Forum
into the community to get a first-hand experience (including witnessing a
shocking cloud of dust that burst over the neighborhood) of the ever
expanding industry and the blight that is created within the
neighborhood. A key part of the toxic tour was giving the residents of
48217 a platform and audience to share their stories and struggles and
to promote our shared vision for clean air and healthy communities.