Chevron Richmond protest results in arrests

RICHMOND — Hundreds of protesters massed outside the refinery’s main gate Saturday afternoon.

The gathering chanted anti-Chevron slogans, painted a sunflower in the street entrance and slathered themselves in dark molasses intended to signify oil.

Protesters climbed ladders near the gates, and others sat down to form human circles at the edge of the police barricade.

The assemblage at the gates was a culmination of a procession that marched from the Richmond BART station, beginning at 10 a.m.

Protester Andres Soto said the march was a statement demanding more investment in clean energy and improved safety at the 2,900-acre refinery.

“There’s nothing more powerful than people in solidarity,” Soto said, watching as a human shield of police with their backs to Chevron’s gates held protesters at bay.


As of 5 p.m., more than 160 protesters had been arrested for refusing to cease trespassing on Chevron property. Richmond Police Capt. Mark Gagan said the number of people arrested could surpass 200. At its peak, the protest included more than 2,000 people, Gagan said.


“But this is nowhere near a situation that is unmanageable,” Gagan said. “We anticipated today’s civil disobedience, and the organizers and public safety have worked together to plan.”


Gagan said the protesters were arrested without incident and were given ample opportunity to heed warnings. Those arrested were processed at a nearby fire station and released, Gagan said.


One man, well-known local gadfly Mark Wassberg, punched a protester and was arrested and booked on assault, Gagan said.


Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus was also at the protest, watching his officers, some in riot gear, hold the line.


“We’ve handled the situation smoothly,” Magnus said.


Chevron spokesperson Melissa Ritchie released a statement late Saturday:
“Chevron respects the rights of individuals to express their viewpoints in a nonviolent manner. We ask that they do so safely, to respect our property and not disrupt our operations. That said, since the fire, we’ve worked to address the underlying issues identified in our investigation report, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board’s findings, and the issues raised by CAL-OSHA. We are committed to making sure something like the August incident does not happen again. We have also taken action to support that commitment. For over 100 years, safety has been the core of everything we do at the refinery, but safety is a job that’s never finished. We’re committed to collaborating with our community, as well as state and local officials to continuously improve the safety and reliability of our operations.”

Richmond hilltop church to host teleconference, Colin Powell keynote speaker


The Global Leadership Summit, convening Aug. 8 and 9, is a one- of- a- kind live telecast conference you won’t want to miss.  

Hilltop Community Church in Richmond will host community, business, church and aspiring leaders within our region and worldwide.  

Keynote speaker Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State, is one of 12 renowned authors, researchers, professors and pastors, including the founder of the Summit, Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, Illinois.

The Summit is expected to draw at least 160,000 church and business leaders to conference sites in more than 525 locations around the world.  Although the conference was once exclusively attended by church leaders, companies began sending teams of staff employees as the transferable principles transcended church walls. CEU are possible too.

The small fee(varies)to attend is well-worth your time. You will be enriched as a person and an improved leader.   We urge and encourage you to attend.  You can only register at www.willowcreek.com/summit   but, you are welcomed to contact us if any questions, (510) 223-2431.

Jim Heden, Senior Pastor Hilltop Community Church
Robert Jones, Executive Pastor Hilltop Community Church


El Cerrito site up for historic landmark consideration

Will El Cerrito be getting its first official landmark? That’s the question the State Historical Resources Commission is considering today in Sacramento.
The former Chung Mei home for Chinese boys on Elm Street in El Cerrito is one of the current nominees the commission is examining at its meeting today.
The ornamented 1930s building most recently was Windrush School and now is owned by the Chamberlin Foundation, which is seeking to house a charter school there.
The site ins nominated as a historic district, meaning the designation would apply to the original building, related buildings and surrounding grounds.