Youth Activists Arrested At Biden's Campaign HQ

On Monday, February 12, 21 diverse youth supporting the Sunrise Movement took over the lobby to Biden's campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. About 60 more people were gathered outside the offices to support and protest. They were demanding that Biden declare a climate emergency ahead of the 2024 election.

The nearly two dozen activists who invaded the campaign headquarters sat down and blockaded the office doors in an attempt to speak with the campaign team. They held signs with phrases like "Fund climate, not genocide", "Biden: Lead or Lose" and "This is an emergency".

After around an hour, the police finally moved in. As a young woman named Grace was filmed speaking to the camera about her experience coming from a first-generation immigrant household, the police gave their final warning and then arrested her. "I'm fighting for my mom and everyone in my community that is dying of heatstroke and disease," she said as she was led away to the police van. The rest of the activists sang a haunting protest song: "Biden, can't you see? This will be your legacy."

19 year old Shiva Rajbhandari said: "President Biden needs to pick a side, is he with us or is he with the oil and gas millionaires who have controlled the Democratic Party and our politics in general for a long time? It seems like he hasn’t made up his mind, and as a young voter, for me, that’s not exciting. In fact, it’s infuriating and insulting and disgusting." As he was led to the police van, he passionately called out to the camera: "My home is under attack! Wildfires, storms, drought, hurricanes. The climate crisis is here and Biden has the power to do something about it. All we're asking is that he use the tools at his disposal. I'm putting my life on the line, my body on the line, and all we're asking is that he declare a climate emergency."

Sunrise's communications director Stevie O’Hanlon said: “Young people are pretty pissed at Joe Biden right now. Joe Biden can’t fund renewable energy on Monday, on Tuesday fund a genocide and approve oil projects and then claim to be a climate president and expect the youth vote.”

Sunrise has been targeting Republican presidential campaign events for months. For example, last month one activist briefly disrupted a Ron DeSantis event before being harshly tackled to the ground. This most recent action from the group at Biden's campaign HQ marks a change, as they are now directly targeting the candidate they helped elect in 2020 to secure a win through a climate emergency declaration.

In early July of 2022, I helped plan and took part in disruptive actions with Declare Emergency in Washington DC, including a blockade of the DC Beltway, which apparently nearly got Biden to declare a climate emergency: the media began reporting later in the month that Biden was considering the idea. Biden, or his team, ultimately decided against it. White House official at the time, David Hayes, said that we need to "get beyond symbolism here."

What was delivered instead was the Inflation Reduction Act. Of the IRA, Sunrise's cofounder and executive director Varshini Prakash wrote that it is "both a historic investment in climate action that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago and contains massive handouts to fossil fuel millionaires and Joe Manchin... The movement for a Green New Deal created the conditions to make Biden's agenda and this climate investment possible." But, as she explains, the IRA is woefully inadequate.

We're going to need these demonstrations to be done en masse if we want significant and deep change to happen in this country. This action by Sunrise is a great step in that direction.

In Solidarity, Jon Tijerina

If we are going to avoid this hellish future for our kids and young people, we have a responsibility - a duty - to stop it if we can.

Roger Hallam, via @RogerHallamCS21 on Twitter

Last Generation - Germany took action last week.

“If we want to prevent the collapse of our society, we have to redirect – out of the fossil age and towards a sustainable, humane and socially just policy. But we are running out of time ,” emphasizes Lea-Maria Rhein (23) . “We, as the last generation, are interrupting everyday life through our protest in order to show a way out of the business as usual that has led us to the current crisis. The FDP, on the other hand, seems to disrupt and block just for the sake of disrupting. Current surveys show that it is not well received. But with every further FDP blockade, we lose valuable time for the necessary social change.”

via Letzte Generation Press Release

Sunrise ask Biden to Declare a Climate Emergency with 21 arrests in DC

Has there been a single article in any media about the recent crossing of 2°C on Feb. 8-11? Or is this now a non-event? The first 2°C crossing was Nov. 17 & 18, 2023. There were lots of articles at the time.

Eliot Jacobson, via Twitter, Feb 18, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

Join up with Declare Emergency and make Headlines in DC

Join DE This Sunday for a talk about how you can join this exciting group - and start making headlines of your own! Or at least help others do the same.
“What are our responsibilities at this time? Because of the fossil fuel industry, we are facing horrors of a magnitude never before experienced in our existence. Our government continues to lead us to the edge of no return. We must stand up and defend ourselves. No one else is going to do it. It must be us, if we want to live.
Our methods must be disruptive, and they must be nonviolent. Our actions are evidence-based, credible, and we have a plan. The only thing missing at this point in time is YOU!”
Register now at declareemergency.org/events

 

 

 

Jon Tijerina

About

Jon Tijerina writes for the Daily Rebellion. He 's been arrested 14 times for civil disobedience to get government action on the climate crisis. He loves falafel, reading classics and spending time with good people. He lives in California.