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As DNC Delegates Gather in the ‘Birthplace of Democracy’, Local Communities Fight for their Right to Breathe


As DNC Delegates Gather in the ‘Birthplace of Democracy’, Local Communities Fight for their Right to Breathe

Emma Pike

From July 25th-29th 2016, South Philadelphia will be home to the Democratic National Convention. The DNC’s location this year will no doubt be repeatedly referenced by delegates and reporters from across the nation and beyond, with much to be made of the city’s prominent role in America’s early struggle for democracy and freedom. What is unlikely to be discussed at the convention - or given coverage by either national or international media - is the reality of everyday life for Philadelphians, and the rights and freedoms that we are still fighting for.


Those who make careers of war & warfare learned from the Vietnam debacle NOT to show actual footage.

If citizens truly took in the visual depictions of war's human losses (added to the senseless destruction of both natural habitat and expensive-to-replace infrastructure) whatever support for war existed would be radically diminished.

It works the same way regarding the War on Nature.

Imagine if T.V. documentaries showed the ecological horrors left behind by Big Oil's drilling operations, its spills across the Niger Delta, Valdez, Alaska, The Gulf of Mexico, and other places... added to Big Coal's slurry coming down the mountain with footage of long lines of mine-workers negotiating "Black Lung."

Combine this footage with segments from "Gaslands" that show the state of drinking water in innocent communities parked too close to today's Necessary (to Big Business) Sacrifice Zones.

Then add in Big Nuke--with a return to the now buried "news" story of Fukushima and its radiation plumes, as gift that keeps on giving.

The paradigm that makes poisoning too much of the commons and precious natural systems allowable is the paradigm that must change.

Too often fights are taken on an expensive, time-consuming one-by-one basis. This allows dangerous polluters to do their thing betting on a number of advantages:

  1. Their guilt must be proven in a court of law and that takes time and requires attorneys and their fees
  2. Each case tends to be decided on a one-by-one basis which means even if guilt is proven in ONE state, the same may not apply in another. That allows the Polluter to keep on doing what He does best.
  3. Lots of judges favor Big Business or its head honchos. Rulings are not always fair.

The mentality that could look to something as sacred as the Peruvian/Bolivian rain forest and begin destructive drill operations there--naturally resulting in poisoning the local river systems, is a mentality that will look anywhere for naked profits.

Citizens' lives (in Philadelphia & Flint & elsewhere) do not matter to the circling vultures who prey upon Disaster Capitalism and the laxity with which it views THEIR crimes against humanity and nature.

The ETHOS that allots "the protections of innocence" to those who don't operate in the Light and don't deserve that protection must alter.

Let those who do harm first prove they are NOT doing harm before offering them licenses to kill, maim, and mutate!

And that goes for:

  1. Big Oil
  2. Big Fracking
  3. Big Nuclear
  4. Big Coal
  5. Big Pharma
  6. Big Agri--especially war criminals Monsanto & friends
  7. Big Gun(s)


"Whether delegates at the DNC in South Philadelphia choose to take progressive steps on climate change and environmental justice remains to be seen."

The suspense ain't killing me

But the outcome, after a pathetic pantomime, just might.