Richmond police say they arrested 210 people during a protest at the massive Chevron refinery in the East Bay city. The arrests came at the end of a march called to protest the oil company’s environmental practices and to commemorate Tuesday’s first anniversary of a fire at the refinery that sent thousands of local residents to seek medical treatment.
Capt. Mark Gagan says more than 2,500 people marched to the Chevron refinery during Saturday’s nonviolent demonstration in Richmond.
The San Francisco Chronicle described the scene leading up to the arrests:
Protesters chanted outside the gate and drew a giant sunflower using biodegradable paint on the pavement. Police began making arrests when the demonstrators, many of them carrying sunflowers, walked onto company property and refused to leave.
Eventually, 210 people were arrested, nearly all of them on suspicion of trespassing, police said. They were cited and released.
Capt. Gagan described the demonstration as peaceful and “very organized.”
One protester was booked on suspicion of assault after he allegedly punched another protester. “I was very grateful about how many people in the crowd condemned his behavior,” Gagan said.
One of those detained was Ellen Small, 90, a retired nurse from Oakland, who was reportedly arrested with her grandson.
Among the groups organizing the protest was climate-action leader Bill McKibben’s 350.org.