27 Organizations sign onto letter expressing community concern
Brownsville, TX — Rio Grande Valley-based frontline organizations are speaking out in unified opposition to SpaceX launching the Starship/Super Heavy, the largest rocket in human history, from Boca Chica Beach near Brownsville, TX.
SpaceX routine operations and testing are already destroying wildlife refuges and sacred lands of the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas and are threatening Rio Grande Valley communities with explosion risks. In addition to these accumulating impacts, the launch of the new massive Starship Super Heavy itself will increase the size and scale of SpaceX’s already damaging impacts on nearby communities, wildlife, and the environment.
For years, Rio Grande Valley residents have been outspoken about SpaceX cutting off access to the beach from local families, preventing the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe from accessing sacred lands for ceremonies, destroying more than 60 acres of wildlife habitat for threatened and endangered species, and threatening public safety with rocket shrapnel blown into fishing spots and the community.
The organizations aligned in opposition to SpaceX include:
Sierra Club – Divest/Invest RGV -Texas Rising- Voces Unidas – South Texas Environmental Justice Network – RGV Food Not Bombs – Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas – Trucha – Laredo Food Not Bombs – South Texans for Reproductive Justice – Texas Youth Activist Alliance – Under the Umbrella RGV – Another Gulf is Possible Collaborative – Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice – Texas Civil Rights Project – Frontera Fund – Entre – Jane’s Due Process – Democratic Socialists of America Rio Grande Valley – Tiger’s Blood – On the Divide – RGV Refillery LLC – Susto Podcast – Solidarity Engineering – Kween Beatrix – La Union Del Pueblo Entero – The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity -South Texas Equality Project
In response, Sierra Club Brownsville Organizer, Emma Guevara, released the following statement:
“A billionaire is closing our beach to use the land to test his experimental technology putting the lives of locals at risk while destroying acres of a wildlife reserve. Who will be held accountable for the destruction this company consistently causes when the government continues to ignore community members’ very real and very serious concerns?”
In response, Carrizo Comecrudo Tribal Chairman, Juan B. Mancias, released the following statement:
“Whenever Elon Musk and his accomplices, the Cameron County Commissioners and Texas General Land Office, close Boca Chica beach for his pet project SpaceX, they destroy our native life ways. We, the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas, oppose SpaceX operations destroying our sacred lands. The Tribe was never consulted by any of these companies or electeds about rockets, like County Judge Treviño, who never responded to our request for a meeting.”
In response, Michelle Serrano with Voces Unidas RGV, released the following statement:
“Voces Unidas advocates for the liberation of all beings and is against any continued SpaceX activity at Boca Chica Beach, a sacred site of the Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe of Texas. The launch sent waves of fear from nearby coastal residents, aware that smaller activities involving Starship have caused serious property damage. Many more worry over the potential for loss of life if a catastrophic explosion were to occur. For a region that has suffered with persistent poverty for generations, there are no immediate benefits to SpaceX for original residents, just more obstacles.”
In response, Brownsville community member Josette Hinojosa, released the following statement:
“SpaceX continues to disrespect Brownsville by continuing to destroy our beach, limit access to it, and push out longtime residents at the same time. Our region has dealt with generations of poverty and exploitation, which it seems like SpaceX has arrived to take advantage of. The exacerbation of these issues by SpaceX’s creation and contributions to gentrification is nothing short of neocolonization. Applauding this experimental technology that has no immediate benefits for anyone besides the wealthy is a further contribution to environmental racism and how communities like my own get sold out to large corporations like SpaceX.”
In response, Gloria Thomas with DSA-RGV (Democratic Socialists of America – Rio Grande Valley), released the following statement:
“SpaceX has brought nothing but gentrification, and environmental destruction to the Valley. The promises of ‘economic development’ and ‘technological innovation’ are false promises. The
so-called economic development is only meant for elites and opportunists, who take advantage of our community, land and resources. SpaceX continues to show incompetency from the previous launch failures and explosions. The lack of oversight from federal and state agencies, and local government, has allowed SpaceX to get away with launch failures that have caused explosions. It shows that these agencies are willing to compromise the public’s safety, and the environment for a billionaire’s pet project.”