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Students Marched against Incinerator in Baltimore

What: Over a hundred students, parents, teachers, workers, and community members will march against the construction of what would be the largest trash-burning incinerator in the country. The incinerator is set to be built less than a mile from several schools in Brooklyn-Curtis Bay, a neighborhood which already registers some of the nation’s highest levels of toxic air pollution.

When: Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 3pm.

Where: Baltimore, Maryland. The march will begin with a rally in the auditorium of Benjamin Franklin High School (1201 Cambria St, Baltimore, 21225) at 3pm. The march will leave the school at 3:50pm and end with a ceremony at the site of the proposed incinerator less than a mile way.

Who: The march is being organized by The Fair Development Campaign—a joint collaboration between United Workers and Unite Here Local 7—and the United Workers youth human rights committee Free Your Voice. The group is composed of students from Ben Franklin High School who have been educating themselves about the proposed incinerator for over a year and sharing what they have learned with their neighbors. Over the last three months, the group has launched a website and an online petition, and have produced two short videos against the incinerator, calling on Governor O’Malley to stop its construction. The march also also been endorsed by Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Environmental Integrity Project, the Maryland Environmental Health Network, Clean Water Action, Community Research and the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA).

Why: If built the Energy Answers incinerator would be the largest of its kind in the nation, producing more pollutants per hour of energy produced than the largest coal plants in Maryland. Already Baltimore leads the nation in per capita deaths from key air pollutants, and Brooklyn-Curtis Bay has some of Baltimore’s highest mortality rates for heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic lower respiratory. “Curtis Bay is a community just like any other and it isn’t fair that we have to breathe toxic air every day that hurts our health,” said Destiny Watford, an 18-year-old community resident that is currently studying at Towson University. “This is why we are coming together – to stop the incinerator and put an end to the cycle of failed development.” Organizers demand Fair Development, which puts community needs first and, particularly in this case, respects people’s right to a healthy environment.The marchers are calling on Governor Martin O’Malley to intervene and protect the children’s health and the health of the community.

Media Visuals: Colorful signs, art, and banners. Students will place flowers at the incinerator site in honor of neighbors, friends, and family members who have suffered from pollution-induced asthma, cancer, and other ailments.