We Refuse to Die was part of the exhibition, Unsettling Matter: Gaining Ground, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, August 2023 - January 2024.
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Report from Houston: Die-In and Funeral March

April 24, 2024

Communities across the country are rising up against the petrochemical industry, and “We Refuse to Die” is taking a life of its own. 

On March 20, a group of fifty activists from communities that are suffocating from the toxic pollution caused by oil and gas came together in Houston, Texas for a funeral march and “die-in” outside a major international energy conference.

Image: Traverse Productions

Gathering around an alter baring pictures of family and friends who died from rare cancers and other health complications linked to the extreme petrochemical pollution in their neighborhoods, alongside images of environmental activists like Berta Cáceres and Tortuguita, who were murdered as a consequence of their organizing efforts, frontline residents from Lake Charles, Mossville, Freeport, Houston, and other petrochemical hubs sang and prayed in a collective “grief ritual”—confronting the corporate executives attending CERAweek with the brutal human cost of doing business in the oil and gas industry.

James Hiatt, a former petrochemical worker and founder of For a Better Bayou, an environmental justice organization in Lake Charles, Louisiana, underscored the message at the heart of this demonstration:

“Fossil fuel companies have been killing people and not being held accountable for decades, and a continued build-out of fossil fuels and false solutions to the climate crisis only creates more suffering and premature death. We cannot afford to continue our fossil fuel dependency. Love your neighbor! We refuse to die.”
Image: Traverse Productions

Check out the full report from Earthworks!

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