, Tar Sands Blockade, Houston, TX
"My son died from cancer. He was only 26," he said as his eyes quivered and filled with tears.
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I struggled to complete the community health survey that brought me to this man’s humble front porch next door to a menacing, industrial car-crushing facility. This summer, as I knocked on dozens of his neighbor’s doors I heard similar heart-breaking stories of illness, asthma, and poverty.
One long-time resident I spoke with summed up the popular sentiment for relocation: "I'm just trying to save up enough money to move my family the hell out of here." These are just a few of the voices from the “End of the Line” – those living in the community of Manchester, on Houston’s toxic East End – one of the communities at the terminus of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Today as thousands gather in over 200 actions across the country for a national day of action to “Draw the Line” on Keystone XL and tar sands it seems like an appropriate moment to reflect on these stories and ask: Can our movements better support these communities already bearing the disproportionate burden of tar sands refining and environmental injustice?