Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Earth Day rally in Chicago demands no mega-warehouse in Tacoma, WA

By staff

Chicago Earth Day rally in opposition to planned mega warehouse in Tacoma, Washington. | Fight Back! News/staff

Chicago, IL – An energetic crowd of protesters gathered in Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago to celebrate Earth Day, April 21, and protest the construction of a mega-warehouse in South Tacoma, Washington. The mega warehouse is currently under construction by the Chicago-based real estate company Bridge Industrial.

Russel Dahlman, of Chicago and the Midwest Regional Joint Board of Workers United, explained, “We are proud to stand in solidarity behind our siblings in labor- the Teamsters Local 28 and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 367- who are opposing environmentally racist practices in the form a mega-warehouse that would devastate the natural environment in the primarily Black and brown neighborhoods of Tacoma, Washington.”

Dahlman was one of several speakers who tied the fight for environmental justice at the Bridge Industrial mega-warehouse to the broader people's movements. The programming included speeches from organizers focused on students, labor and racial justice.

“As organized labor, we stand up for our communities, and we fight for the resources we deserve, including education, healthcare, good-paying union jobs, clean neighborhoods and healthy foods. Our ability to live a safe and healthy life shouldn’t be determined by our zip code or tax bracket,” Dahlman continued, stressing the importance of solidarity between the labor and environmental movements.

Jimmy Rogers from Students for a Democratic Society at University of Illinois – Chicago (SDS UIC) discussed how solidarity around the globe is imperative. “As we celebrate this Earth, I am reminded of the Palestinians who loved this Earth and their land so much they'd rather be buried in it than to leave it to the hands of the Zionist war criminals.” Rogers went on to describe how environmentally destructive the Israeli occupation has been.

Chants of “We believe that we will win” echoed between the Chicago skyscrapers. This chant was characteristic of the rally – optimistic, energetic, and determined to fight environmental injustice with solidarity.

That rally closed with the crowd singing the classic labor song Solidarity Forever – with a verse altered to reflect the mega-warehouse:

“Bridge Industrial will destroy us if it means they’ll make a dime. But they’re running off our labor, stolen land and borrowed time. Tacoma and Chicago will defeat them when our power is combined! For the union makes us strong!”

#ChicagoIL #TacomaWA #Environment #Labor #EarthDay #Teamsters #UFCW #SDS