Oscar Sanchez’s fight against a scrapyard set to be relocated to his Southeast Chicago neighborhood has taken quite the physical toll. He’s lost about 20 pounds in the past month. He is increasingly unable to sleep, speak, or think clearly. Sometimes it’s so bad he can’t remember what he said even five minutes ago.
Sanchez knows exactly why his mind and body are deteriorating: He is one of more than 100 Chicagoans participating in a hunger strike to force the city to rethink the scrapyard’s proposed location. The metal recycling plant used to be in a wealthy, mostly white neighborhood, but its newly approved site is in a lower-income, predominantly Latino area that’s already carrying a higher environmental burden compared to other parts of the city.
Photo Credit: Grist/Google Earth
The hunger strike ended on March 7th after over a month of protests and direct actions, but activists vow to continue the fight. Read about their continued fight here.