Chicago Plant Sparked A Hunger Strike Amid Environmental Racism Claims

"A metal recycling plant is due to open on the polluted Southeast Side months after the same firm shut a metal scrapyard in a white, affluent part of town"

"Trinity Colón grew up believing everyone had asthma.

Raised among heavy industry on the Southeast Side of Chicago, Colón had no reason to believe otherwise: her entire family and neighbors shared the same respiratory issues. The rituals that came with them – like keeping windows shut to ward off billowing clouds of petroleum coke – seemed ordinary.

She remembers how once or twice a year, she would be driven to the clinic by her mother when her bronchitis would act up, to receive treatment her family often couldn’t afford.

Now Colón, 17, worries the health problems she and her community face are about to get worse. In December, a recycling company called Reserve Management Group (RMG) closed a century-old metal scrapyard in an affluent, white part of town after numerous environmental violations, and now the company is close to opening a new metal recycling plant in Chicago’s Southeast Side, where many black and brown people live. In an effort to stop the city from granting RMG its final permit, community activists have now announced a hunger strike."

Taylor Moore reports for the Guardian February 14, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 02/16/2021