“Enough is Enough” Earth Day rally in West Dallas

Caleb Roberts, Co-Chair of Downwinders at Risk. The organization has been an advocate of clean air in North Texas since 1994. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Fish Trap Lake Park in Dallas became more than just a place to walk a dog Sunday – it became a battleground for environmental justice.

As part of a weekend-long initiative spearheaded by the Dallas Earth Day Action team, residents and allies rallied together under the banner “Enough is Enough: Rally to Bury the Toxic Twins,” demanding action against the longstanding presence of two asphalt shingle factories – GAF and TAMKO – in the neighboring communities of West Dallas and Joppa.

Attendees had the opportunity demonstrate using signs that symbolized Earth during the Earth Day rally. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Danza San Juan Dallas performed during the “Enough is Enough” rally for Environmental Justice. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Guests watched Danza San Juan Dallas at Fish Trap Lake Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles

These factories, each with an 80-year legacy, have cast a long shadow of environmental racism, emitting tons of air pollution annually and disproportionately affecting Black and Brown neighborhoods. The call to close these factories echoes the urgent need to address systemic injustices embedded in zoning policies and industrial practices.

The rally saw an impressive lineup of speakers from various community organizations and grassroots movements. Notable figures like Texas State Representative Venton Jones lent their voices to the cause, amplifying the demands for change.

Marsha Jackson of Southern Sector Rising, Janie Cisneros of Singleton United/Unidos, and Julio Chaparro of Justice for Joppa/Justicia para Joppa, among others, stood in solidarity with the affected communities.

Danza San Juan Dallas. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Bran Movay and his band at “Enough is Enough” environmental rally. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Bran Movay appreciates combining his passion for both music and activism. Photo: Jessica Waffles

However, it was not just speeches that filled the air; music became a medium to convey the spirit of resistance and resilience. Local artists DAMOYEE, Bran Movay, and Hijos De Muñoz took to the stage, captivating the audience with their performances. Artist and poet ShySpeaks stirred emotions with poignant verses, weaving narratives of struggle and hope.

Musician Bran Movay encapsulated the essence of the event, emphasizing the intersection of music and activism. “Let’s not take our collective power for granted,” he urged, acknowledging the pivotal role of art in driving social change. His sentiments echoed throughout the crowd, igniting a sense of empowerment and unity.

Laura Quintero Chavez, from Neighborhood Self-Defense Team and DTRHT, wears a hat that says “You are on native land” from Urban Native Era. The brand brings Indigenous visibility through fashion & design. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Julio Chaparro with Justice Para Joppa. Photo: Jessica Waffles
GAF was directly across the street from Fish Trap Lake Park, where the Earth Day Action event was held. Photo: Jessica Waffles
The decaying GAF building. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Amidst the chants of “GAF’s GOTTA GO!” and the rhythmic beats reverberating across the park, attendees were reminded of the urgency of the cause. The presence of the factories looming in the backdrop served as a stark reminder of the environmental injustices plaguing these communities for decades.

The event symbolizes a grassroots movement gaining momentum, fueled by the tireless efforts of community organizers, environmental advocates, and residents alike.

Attendees commune with each other. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Earth Day Action team members wore distinguishing green shirts. Photo: Jessica Waffles
The event location site at Fish Trap Lake Park. Photo: Jessica Waffles
ShySpeaks on stage for the “Enough is Enough” environmental rally. Photo: Jessica Waffles

As the rally concluded, the message was clear: the time for action is now. It is time to bury the toxic legacy of the past and pave the way for a future where environmental justice prevails.

For those interested in learning more, KERA covered a story in late 2023 about Joppa pollution that can be found here. You can also find more resources on the Downwinders at Risk website here.

Luis Sepulveda, founder of the West Dallas Coalition for Environmental Justice. Photo: Jessica Waffles
The Downwind at Risk information table at the “Enough is Enough” environmental rally. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Boycott Tamko. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Attendees watching Bran Movay at the “Enough is Enough” environmental rally, directly across the street from GAF (on the left). Photo: Jessica Waffles
DAMOYEE builds songs on stage for the Earth Day Action event. Photo: Jessica Waffles
Where music and activism meet, with DAMOYEE. Photo: Jessica Waffles

Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT. 
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