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'Occupy Earth Day' Protest Against Chevron Draws Dozens

Several dozen people attended an "Occupy Earth Day" protest against the Chevron refinery in Richmond late yesterday, April 20.

Demonstrators gathered at the Richmond BART station late Friday afternoon for an "" protest against the Chevron refinery in Richmond.

Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin was among the speakers at the protest, included a march from the BART station to Richmond's Civic Center Plaza. The Richmond Confidential Web site put the turn-out at about 200, while a woman who attended told Patch she estimated about 75 protestors.

The drew un an unusual number of reader comments, pro and con.

An announcement about the event on the Occupy Oakland Web site says Chevron "is a perfect example of how the 1% destroys the health and well-being of the 99%." The protestors accused the oil giant of polluting the air in Richmond and of being greedy in its long-running legal challenges to the property-value assessment assigned to the refinery by Contra Costa County. The assessment determines the property tax that Chevron must pay.

Chevron says its emissions have been substantially reduced by equipment upgrades and meet all government standards. It also says that its property is overvalued by the county assessor and that it has been a good corporate citizen, providing financial and other contributions to the community for many years. 

Yesterday's protest was organized by Occupy Richmond, according to Richmond Confidential.

The event listing placed on Patch said the demonstration was "endorsed by Occupy Richmond, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Berkeley, Occupy Cal, Occupy Concord, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), Bay Area 350, Center for Biological Diversity, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), Contra Costa County Central Committee of the Peace & Freedom Party, Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Community Organizations (CCISCO), Global Community Monitor, Greenaction, Green Party of Alameda County, Laotian Organizing Project, Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA), the Sierra Club, West County Toxics Coalition, and Youth Together."

A special thanks to photographer Limor Inbar for contributing the attached photos.

Clarification: Relying on a report by Richmond Confidential, the original headline and deck on this story said about 200 people attended the demonstration. A witness later told Patch that she estimated about 75 protestors. We've revised the article to reflect the range of estimates. 

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