Saturday, May 20, 2017
Martinez Shell & Tesoro Refineries to Benicia Valero Refinery
Martinez Shell & Tesoro Refineries to Benicia Valero Refinery
Idle No More SF Bay is so happy you will be walking with us for clean air, soil, water and a vibrantly healthy future for all of our relations!
We will begin near the Martinez Shoreline Park at the end of Ferry Street
in the City of Martinez, California
8:00 a.m. Water Ceremony & Registration
9:30 a.m. Walk Begins
There are several places along the walk where folks can join the walk - please see the details of the route below.
The walk will end at the 9th Street Park in the City of Benicia, California
Please feel free to join us for the prayers for the water at 8:00 a.m. Feel free to bring a small bottle of water from your watershed to join the waters in the Carquinez Straights (where the Delta meets the Bay) in Martinez.
Registration for the walk will begin at 8:00 a.m. Walkers will be asked to agree to the Nonviolent Principles. For details on what to bring/not bring, please go to "What To Expect" in the tabs above.
This walk is approximately 9.5 miles from beginning to end. There will be vehicles available for people who wish to take breaks during the walk. Medics will also be available. Water will be provided - please bring your reusable water bottle.
Everyone will be taken back to their vehicles at the end of the walk. If you are coming to the walk with friends and have two vehicles, please consider leaving one vehicle at the end.
Please consider CARPOOLING - You can sign up to give rides or receive a ride here:
Make sure you keep this phone number with you on the walk:
Scroll down to see the map of the walk.
We will begin in Martinez and walk through the Shell Refinery in Martinez on the public road. It gets exciting when we walk across the Martinez Benicia Bridge over the Carquinez Straights! Once we get to Benicia, we head over to the Valero Refinery where we stop to pray for clean air, water, soil and safe jobs in our communities. We then walk through town to the 9th Street Park for the closing circle, a meal and the final prayers for the waters.
All walkers are encouraged to carry the water for at least five minutes in prayer for the life of the waters around the world.
Special Notes For This Walk:
Please go to the "What to Expect" page for more information:
Our dear friend, Rucha Chitnis, wrote an article about this walk for Indian Country Today about Walk #2, 2015.
Click on the link to read it and see the photos:
A Walk to Heal, A Walk to Remember
A bit about Walk #2 from 2015:
The day began with set up at Martinez Waterfront Park. Isabella Zizi and I went to collect the water for the prayers and were blessed to see a beaver in the water, which is very rare in the Bay Area. The beaver swam around for a bit while we thanked it before swimming off. Isabella carefully walked down the slippery rocks and retrieved the water in our bucket. We later realized she had also collected two, almost invisible, baby fish. Those little fish heard all of prayers while we walked the 9.5 miles, and what tales they will tell about walking all that way!
We had our first prayer with the organizing committee to help us all become aligned with the prayerful intention of the day. As people arrived, we laid the beautifully painted parachute on the grass and set up the altar for the water prayers. At 8:00 am we joined together in a circle to talk about the sacredness and importance of water before we made our prayers. Galeson EagleStar sang a water song and a Mother Earth song, and Wounded Knee spoke about the sacredness of water. We then we introduced all of the good hearts who organized the walks, the Idle No More SF Bay members, and oriented the walkers to the walk: what we were walking for, who the monitors were (who had their own prayer time with Michael Horse), the support drivers and medics, etc. Walkers picked out what message they wanted to carry that day from the beautiful art that David Solnit helped us make at the Art Parties. And then, following two sacred staffs, we began the walk with the Women's Warrior Song as we walked through downtown Martinez.
We were a colorful sight with all of our banners and flags. There was no mistaking what we were walking for: safe jobs, clean air, water and soil. As we passed one of the Shell gates, an oil big rig was turning in. When he saw us, he layed on his horn several times and waved to show his support. We are everywhere and everyone.
We stopped to pray at the foot of the Martinez-Benicia bridge. With a clear view of the Shell Refinery, we prayed for the oil which did not want to be extracted from its home in Mother Earth's belly, for the refinery worker's safety, for the corporate executives who have forgotten their relationship with the web of life, and more. We continued on to the bridge, stopping halfway to pray for the waters in the Carquinez Straights as they made their way to the San Francisco Bay and beyond while singing the Cherokee Water Song. This was followed by two young Native American men who also offered a beautiful song.
As we neared the Benicia side of the bridge we were greeted by three wonderful folks holding a banner welcoming us to Benicia. When we left the bridge, our wonderful Benicia Police escort, Officer Sergio Cruz, was waiting for us. He followed us in his car to make sure we were safe the entire time we walked through Benicia.
At one point, the men offered up the AIM song and we gathered around and sang it together on the street. Beautiful.
We stopped for lunch at one of the businesses near Valero, whose owner welcomed us and let us use the restroom and hang out in his parking lot. We ate, talked, stretched and even did the hokey pokey! It was a blast and I can't wait to see those pix!
We carried on toward the Valero Refinery, stopping to pray in a parking lot. When we passed around the tobacco, I included Officer Cruz, who accepted the tobacco to pray with from his vehicle. He became part of our circle of people praying. Amy Hutto led us in a beautiful, strong prayer.
Leaving the Valero area, we passed many pipelines which went under the road and over the road, which was similar to those we passed near the Shell Refinery. It is powerful to see the massiveness of these refineries. Also along the route were many upright postings of notice of underground oil pipelines...like spider webs along the refinery corridor. Who knows if they are safe and leaking underground? I wonder about that every time I see them.
We were happily surprised to be joined along this stretch by two elders in motorized wheel chairs, and their friend who drove them. Many walkers stopped to thank them and hug them and show them respect.
As we entered the main road in Benicia, hearing the drums, many people came out of their homes to see what was going on. We handed them information, inviting them to join us on this walk or those coming up.
We stopped at an ice cream shop and enjoyed the treat before heading to the park in the middle of town for a 20 minute vigil with our banners & flags. We were able to talk to more folks from town there. Two young men joined us from there on their bikes, riding along with us.
As we arrived at our final destination at 9th Street Park. Those of us in the lead stopped to thank Officer Cruz for taking such good care of us. He thanked us for walking. I later found out that he got out of his car to shake everyone's hand as they entered the park. We were grateful that he was the one chosen to take care of us that day.
After the closing circle we happily munched on pizza and make our "envisioning a beautiful future" art on 11" x 11" muslin squares which will be sewn into quilts for public display. Hopefully, the quilts will be available soon. Let me know if you would like to arrange a public showing. They are beautiful!
The day ended with closing prayers for the water and we let the little fish and prayed upon water join their relatives not too far from where the Carquinez Straights head out to the Bay.