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Formosa Plastics Hunger Strike: Day 15

by Dan Le

Dan is a member of the San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper Team, and is covering for Diane at the Formosa Plastics Texas plant while she is away on a speaking engagement at Colby College in Maine. Click here for more information on how to support the strike.

Day 3 fasting for me. Woke up today feeling a little low energy, so had to take it slow this morning. The weather was nice today though, the sun was out which was energizing. Ol’ Red seemed to run better too, nice cool breeze, sun reflecting off the waves of the bay. Clear skies allowed a better view of the two flares at the Formosa plant while I drove into Point Comfort. I’m not sure what they’re burning but that constant burning is emitting something into the air, and it’s likely something that’s harmful. In fact, local residents have had to move away because of the soot from those flares.

Which reminds me, I forgot to mention about sirens going off at the plant yesterday. I could hear them loud and clear from outside the gate. Hadn’t heard those before so I texted Diane to see what it was all about. She asked if I heard any additional sirens that sound like emergency vehicle sirens, and I replied that I didn’t. She said it was probably a release. “What’s a release?” I asked.

“An escape of chemicals from a valve or pipe. [Could be] vinyl chloride, benzene, ethylene oxide.”

She then sent me a picture of a big incident in 2017 when Formosa released 160,000 pounds of chemicals, including carcinogens, into the air. Terrible. Yet another mark on their consistently abysmal environmental record.

2017 Formosa emmisions after Hurricane Harvey, courtesy Jessica Priest

Back to today: with the weather being nice, I managed to finally do what I originally intended while covering for Diane: sit outside and meditate. Today I sent waves of compassion to those still suffering from the 2016 Formosa Steel Marine Disaster in Vietnam so they can find the strength to endure while waiting for justice.

I also sent waves of compassion to the leaders of the Formosa Plastics Group, so they might open their hearts to see the suffering caused by their misdeeds, see the errors of their ways, and take appropriate action to end the suffering. Taking action can come in many different forms, and we just have to try all of it.

Found a nice dry spot under the tree to meditate

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