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Watch: Sunrise Activists Pressure Sen. Schumer to Back Green New Deal

John Tarleton Feb 14

NOW AVAILABLE AS A POSTER: the cover illustration from The Indy’s special AOC Green New Deal issue. All proceeds go to support our grassroots, independent reporting.

Singing “Which side are you on?” nearly 100 mostly youthful climate justice activists rallied late Wednesday afternoon outside the Midtown office of Senator Chuck Schumer.

The protesters demanded that Schumer endorse the Green New Deal resolution recently introduced by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey. They also insisted that Schumer marshal the other members of the Senate Democratic caucus he leads to support the landmark plan as well.

“We’re here to tell Schumer if you fight for the Green New Deal, we have your back,” said Aracely Jimenez, an organizer with the Sunrise Movement, the youth-led group that organized the event. Sunrise was joined by 350.org, the Sierra Club and local Indivisible chapters, among others.

Released on Feb. 7, the Green New Deal resolution calls for moving the United States to net zero carbon emissions while ensuring everyone is guaranteed a good job and that targeted investments are made in low-income communities and communities of color. So far it has gained 11 Senate co-sponsors and more than 60 co-sponsors in the House.

Republicans have derided the plan as a “socialist fantasy.” On Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed he would bring the resolution up for a snap vote that he hopes will peel off wavering Democrats and embarrass Green New Deal supporters as they begin their 50-state campaign for public support.

The Sunrise Movement is seeking to place climate change and the Green New Deal at the center of the 2020 presidential campaign with an eye toward winning a mandate to put their plan in action starting in 2021. They will launch a 15-city tour of early primary states in March and are looking to bring thousands of Green New Deal supporters to rally outside of the first Democratic presidential debate in June at a still-to-be-determined site.


Photo (top): A climate demonstrator outside Sen. Chuck Schumer’s office Wednesday, Feb. 13.  Photo and video by Erin Sheridan.