“I wish as a public servant I could tell you everything is going to be alright, but I can’t tell you that today, because I’m not interested in lying to you…frankly there is no reason for us to be comfortable right now.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Photo: Cliff Owen/AP
ON MONDAY NIGHT, at the final stop on the Sunrise Movement’s “Road to a Green New Deal” tour across the United States, the group called for a mass youth-led mobilization to pressure Democratic candidates to make the 2020 election a referendum on climate change. On July 30, the scheduled date for the the second Democratic presidential debate, Sunrise hopes to bring tens of thousands of young people to Detroit to present all the Democratic contenders with three demands:
- Sign the no fossil fuel money pledge.
- Commit to making the Green New Deal a day one priority if elected president.
- Pledge support for a presidential debate on climate change so voters can hear where candidates stand on the issues.
Sunrise co-founder Varshini Prakash called it the “largest action our movement has organized to date for the Green New Deal.” Monday night’s event came exactly six months since Sunrise activists staged a protest in the office of soon-to-be-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, joined by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who had yet to be sworn in to Congress.
Some 1,500 people turned up for the sold-out event in the Cramton Auditorium at Howard University to hear Ocasio-Cortez, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, policy writer Rhiana Gunn-Wright, and Intercept columnist Naomi Klein, among others. The event came just one week after a landmark UN report concluded that at least a million species are at risk of extinction due to human activity, and just days after carbon dioxide levels were recorded at the highest levels ever in human history. MORE