SAN FRANCISCO – It’s Earth Day and activists in San Francisco have taken to the streets saying the battle for environmental protection is all about environmental justice. Activists demand justice for the city’s Bayview district.
Young activists took to the streets of San Francisco, marching and demanding environmental justice on Earth Day. Youth organizers said they were speaking out to protect their community. “I’m here because I have family in Bayview, I have family with asthma, who have been impacted by environmental injustice in Bayview and it’s important for us as young people to speak up.” , said organizer Michael Sturdivant.
As the crowd marched, performers prepared the steps of City Hall for their arrival. Natalie Deiner is the creative talent behind an eco-friendly mural. “So we have requests to re-test, clean up the contamination and provide reparations to those in the Bayview who have been impacted by this radiation for generations,” Natalie Deiner said.
Activists say decades of military activity in the shipyards have left radioactive waste in the Bayview District, and the people living and working in this community are paying the price.
Arieann Harrison continues the environmental battle for justice that her mother Marie Harrison fought for so long. “Now what we’re fighting for is environmental justice in particular, it’s a fight that’s been going on for decades, but we’re here to win it,” Harrison said.
Organizers are adamant that former military sites must be retested for contaminants and those who live here must be compensated for decades of living with these dangerous contaminants present. “I have about five toxic chemicals in my body as we speak and radioactive isotopes,” Harrison said. “This is serious business.”
SEE ALSO: Earth Day 2022: how it started and how to celebrate it
Environmental activists say everyone deserves a safe place to live. “Yes, we want clean air, water and land,” Harrison said. “These are basic human needs. I think we’re worth it, and our kids are worth it.”
KTVU contacted the Navy, Environmental Protection Agency and California Department of Toxic Substance Control to see if they could address concerns about toxic waste in the Bayview. So far we have had no news.
Earth Day celebrations continue on Saturday. The Earth Day festival returns to the Mission District, for the first time since the pandemic.