Some 300 people marched through Boyle Heights and held a protest in the parking lot at 1700 South Soto Street this evening, demonstrating against the massive Industrial Service Oil Company Incorporated (ISOCI), which is seeking to process a broader range of hazardous and toxic materials. For the past 20 years, the ISOCI has already managed an oil and anti-freeze recycling facility, and is now trying to bypass community and city input and is instead directly petitioning a permit from the State of California Department of Toxic Substances. Among the hundreds of protestors in attendance was Ana Rosa Franco:
Ana Rosa attends Resurrection Catholic Church in Boyle Heights, where Monsignor John Moretta makes beautifully strong moral arguments during Mass about social justice issues. Resurrection also houses a school – and the youth I spoke with told me that attending the march counted towards their community service hours! And these were not empty hours: every person I spoke with, young and old, knew the ins and outs of ISOCI and the issues – but simply put, as Roberto Cabrales from Communities for a Better Environment put it, “[ISOCI] has been a shady company for a long time… and it’s time for them to cut the pollution. The community doesn’t need anymore pollution!”
This is what the sidewalk on 1700 South Soto Street looks like, littered with broken-down equipment:
The expansion of a facility that doesn’t even respect public space on the sidewalk says a lot. And this time, the community is saying even more.