Grassroots coalition, members of Congress occupy Democratic National Committee Headquarters to demand climate action from President-Elect Biden
by Ryan Schleeter
November 19, 2020
Advocates for bold climate agenda demand action to create millions of new jobs while addressing intersecting crises of climate change, racial injustice, and economic inequity.
© Tim Aubry / Greenpeace
Washington, DC — A coalition of grassroots groups, Black, Indigenous, and Brown leaders from across the nation began a direct action at the Democratic National Committee Headquarters in Washington to demand that President-Elect Biden and his administration follow through on a bold agenda to address the climate crisis. They were joined by members of Congress who support that agenda.
This action is led by youth, movement leaders, frontline activists, and artists collectively representing a range of identities and communities confronting the interlocking crises in front of us. Against great obstacles during this pandemic, people across the country turned out in record numbers to pick new leaders who will care and govern for all of us. As a result, Joe Biden has been elected president on the most ambitious climate platform of any nominee for a major party in history. The people have spoken, and we are demanding a climate champion in the White House.
President-Elect Biden himself has outlined four Day One priorities for his administration: COVID-19, economic recovery, racial equity, and the climate crisis. By embracing bold, holistic, and forward-thinking solutions — a Green New Deal — he can navigate out of multiple crises at once.
Photo and video from the entire 24-hour #BidenBeBrave occupation are available at: https://media.greenpeace.org/
A livestream of the rally with frontline leaders and members of Congress is available at: https://fb.watch/1SwwBU-xH2/
Activists and coalition members from a diverse range of backgrounds spoke out about the importance of bold action.
“We are running out of time to save our children’s future and our planet, we must act NOW in order to provide a clean and just world for all,” said Ta’Sina Sapa Win, Cheyenne River Grassroots Collective.
Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director with Greenpeace USA, added: “Against great obstacles during this pandemic, people across the country turned out in record numbers to pick new leaders who will care and govern for all of us. Because of our work to put him in office, Joe Biden now has a massive opportunity in front of him to help millions of people build better lives for themselves and their families. To get it right, he must embrace action at the scale science and justice demand. It’s time for Biden to say ‘yes’ to a Green New Deal and ‘no’ to fossil fuels.”
“Let’s cut to the chase,” said Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright, Policy Coordinator, Climate Justice Alliance. “Marginalized Black, Brown, and Indigenous folk came out to vote, which is the only reason there will even be a Biden administration. The President-Elect must center these communities and dismantle the root causes of interlinked crises including COVID and climate change – white ‘supremacy,’ patriarchy, and colonization. He can demonstrate that, ‘he’ll always have our backs’ by scaling up frontline solutions through a Green New Deal rooted in a Just Transition for workers and communities, anchored by the eight pillars of the THRIVE Agenda and the 14 planks for Regenerative Economies. Our lives, our people and our solutions must be respected and seen, every day, as important as our votes every two and four years.”
Margaret Kwateng, National Green New Deal Organizer of Grassroots Global Justice, added, “Over the last eight months of this pandemic, we have called the labor of frontline workers essential. We have come to see domestic workers, nurses, teachers, food producers, and all those who care for our loved ones as the foundation of our lives and economy. The Green New Deal offers a Biden/Harris administration the opportunity to respond to the crises exacerbated by COVID in a way that builds toward a caring, just and regenerative economy.”
Elected officials also joined the coalition members to press for bold action.
“Thanks to the hard work of young people, working-class people, and communities of color, our movement elected President-Elect Joe Biden and candidates like myself by historic margins,” said Representative-Elect Mondaire Jones. “Now, with just years left before irreparable damage is done to our planet, we have the opportunity to honor the promises we made on the campaign trail and get to work to end environmental racism and invest in a green jobs program that will help all Americans.”
Senator Ed Markey added, “Young voters came out in record numbers this Election Day to send a clear message for urgent and aggressive climate action. Removing Donald Trump from the White House was a critical first step, but now we must work together to make the Green New Deal a reality. We simply cannot afford half-measures in this effort to save our economy, our democracy, and our very civilization.”
“It’s time to enact a bold, progressive vision for our green economy,” said Representative Ro Khanna. “Thank you to the leaders of this mission like Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Sen. Markey, and the Sunrise Movement for working to make this vision a reality within the Biden Administration. I’m honored to work alongside you.”
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