Tonight I was glad to join the ZOOM online meeting for updates about the Sunrise Movement. Over 450 people were on the call.
Over 30,000 have joined the Sunrise Movement in the past couple of weeks!
Last week over 100 Congressional offices were visited by Sunrise Movement members. In the Bay Area, Sunrise students missed school on the 25th in order to go to Senator Diane Feinstein’s office. Although they were finally able to meet with her, she was dismissive toward the students. https://jeffkisling.com/2019/02/23/sen-feinstein-rebuffs-youth-and-gnd/
Feinstein told the students about climate legislation she was planning to introduce. Since the visit from the students, and criticism via social media, she has announced she no longer plans to submit her bill.
Actions related to McConnell were planned, because he had announced he would bring the Resolution for a Green New Deal (GND) up for a vote soon. His intention was to force Democrats to be on record about the GND, and to show how little support there was for the GND in the Senate.
The Sunrise Movement organized a #OilMoneyMitch campaign to try to get his attention. Oli, a high school student who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, described her experiences related to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). She said planning began just one week before the action that occurred this past Monday, 2/25/2019.
One night in Louisville they gathered to work on art/banners for the visit to his office. When they went to his office, they were physically barred from entering. Several of them spent the night outside his office. A lot of mainstream news media showed up.
The next day students walked out of school, to return to his office. The students were threatened with suspension if they walked out, although there was no punishment last year when students walked out to attend March for Our Lives. Oli and one other walked out of school anyway, and were suspended.
Last weekend, Oli and other Louisville high school students went to Washington, DC. Monday, 2/25/2019, two hundred and fifty students went to McConnell’s office. Oil said, “I was so scared.” She and the students from Kentucky were placed at the head of the group, and she said she felt supported by the other students.
She wanted the country to know that Kentucky is more than coal country. The students told the stories of how fossil fuels had impacted them. Oli had never given a speech before, and even though she was “terrified”, she was one of the student who told their stories to the gathered students and reporters.
The students were dismissed from the office. 42 were arrested. Oli said there was a “crazy amount of news coverage.”
Oli plans to participate in the (global) Youth Climate Strike, March 15. And she plans to meet with the Louisville School Superintendent, to ask that the strike be sanctioned, so the students don’t face suspension if they participate. If that doesn’t happen, the students plan an escalation. They will get signatures on a petition, and walk out anyway.
This Tuesday, 2/26/2019, Sunrisers visited 75 Senate offices. Here in Des Moines, about 55 of us visited Senator Joni Ernst’s office.
There was also quite a discussion about people alignment and the March 15th global Youth Climate Strike. I’ll discuss that in tomorrow’s blog.