As the impending dangers of climate change continue to become apparent, the federal government has continued to resist implementing changes to stop it. But certain progressive members of Congress have recently begun fighting for a Green New Deal to drastically cut carbon emissions. Now, young climate change activists are urging Congress to adopt this policy—and some were even arrested in the process.
ABC News reports that yesterday, February 25th, a group of climate change activists from Kentucky gathered at the D.C. office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to demand that he sign a Green New Deal. According to Politico, there were more than 100 young people in attendance, and after 45 minutes, 42 protesters were arrested. The event was organized by the Sunrise Movement, a nonviolent group that describes itself as “ordinary young people who are scared about what the climate crisis means for the people and places we love.” ABC notes that outside of McConnell’s office, Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunshine Movement, told reporters that “The Green New Deal is our best and only solution right now.”
On Twitter, videos circulated depicting the protesters being led out of the Capitol in handcuffs. As they walk, they can be heard singing “Which side are you on now?” and “Does it weigh on you at all?”
Politico notes that the group has previously focused its protests on Democratic lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On Friday, February 22nd, footage of the young activists confronting California Senator Dianne Feinstein went viral, with the original tweet being retweeted more than 13,000 times.
CNN reported in mid-February that McConnell pledged to hold a vote on the Green New Deal. The measure calls for the U.S. to abandon fossil fuels in favor of zero-emissions energy sources and has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2030. CNN notes that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who first proposed the measure, joined the Sunrise Movement after being elected to Congress in November.
It’s disheartening to see protesters fighting against climate change getting arrested. We need our government to do something to stop global warming, and we need it yesterday.