Call for solidarity and support of residents in East Palestine, Ohio and beyond who have been impacted by the Norfolk Southern disaster.
Organizations and affinity groups across Ohio are uniting to offer support and mutual aid to those most affected by last week’s train derailment and subsequent release of toxic chemicals. We are accepting donations of both funds and supplies for communities in and around East Palestine, Ohio.
This disaster is a policy decision. The Biden administration and Congress refused to support rail workers in their demands to improve safety in December 2022 and January 2023. Ohio Governor DeWine mandated the conditions to allow the toxic burn off in lieu of alternative remediations. The purpose for escalating the release of volatile chemicals was to speed up the process for trains to resume to generate profit for the companies who perpetuated this catastrophe. State and federal authorities are not only neglecting and refusing to serve residents’ needs in the aftermath of this disaster. They caused this.
Politicians are not caring for their constituents, and they’re not being truthful. Instead, they’re beholden to the corporations that finance their campaigns and the lies that protect them. Norfolk Southern is only concerned about profit. Norfolk Southern does not care about the environment. And Norfolk Southern does not care about the health and well-being of people. From Cop City to East Palestine, Norfolk Southern is an ecocidal entity endorsed by our government. To that end, we know that it is our duty to help our fellow Ohioans in distress through our collective power.
Beginning today, we are collecting monetary and material donations for affected residents. Monetary donations can be made via our Open Collective at https://opencollective.com/east-palestine-solidarity/
Material donations of bottled water, water filters, masks, and more will be collected at designated drop-off locations across the state with details forthcoming. Follow our organizations on social media to stay informed on action items and more details on supply needs and distribution.
Further, we collectively endorse and echo River Valley Organizing’s demands:
DECLARE A FEDERAL DISASTER:
Federal resources are desperately needed to mitigate the pollution and its effects on residents.
PROVIDE MEDICAL MONITORING:
The states must monitor and track health concerns from this incident, and they must provide mobile clinics so that residents and first responders – anyone in the area who was exposed to the pollution – can access critical information about their health.
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ENVIRONMENTAL TESTING:
The state must provide funds for independent environmental testing. Residents are understandably skeptical that tests being paid for by Norfolk Southern are reliable and trustworthy. Access to independent water and soil testing should not be limited to people who can afford to cover the high costs.
MEET WITH RESIDENTS REGULARLY, IN-PERSON, ON AN ONGOING BASIS:
Information about this incident is complex, and more information comes out – whether accurate or not – by the hour. Residents deserve a space to have conversations with officials, to raise concerns, and to ask questions, and be given answers.
Additional information on River Valley Organizing can be found by visiting https://linktr.ee/rivervalleyorganizing
Youngstown Action Center
Socialist Rifle Association – Northeast Ohio & Central Ohio chapters
Democratic Socialists of America—Akron, Columbus, & Mahoning Valley chapters
Food Not Bombs—Canton, Cincinnati, & Central Ohio chapters
Serve The People—Akron
mask bloc 614
Central Ohio Youth Liberation