The Rapidian

Sunrise GR Announces New Climate Strike

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On December 6th, Sunrise Grand Rapids will march on Sen Gary Peters’ office in support of the Green New Deal.
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On September 20th, the millions of young people all over the world turned out to strike, intent to shine a light on the growing climate crisis. It was the biggest single collective environmental action in history. Like a presidential scandal or natural disaster, word of the strike echoed across major news outlets for days.

Now, it’s happening again. Marchers will take to the streets on December 6th in the US, and November 29th everywhere else in the world. Rather than a single symbolic demonstration, global organizers hope to make this into a sustained push, intent on concrete climate reform.

Here in Grand Rapids, the strike is being organized by the local chapter of the Sunrise Movement, an organization advocating for the Green New Deal. It will start at noon in Ah-Nab-Awen Park with a land acknowledgement and speakers. Then, strikers will march across the river to Senator Gary Peters’ office across from Calder Plaza.

Peters is of particular interest to Sunrise in Michigan because of his presence on the 2020 ballot. Peters faces a tough race as a first term senator in a swing state, but he does have a reasonable path to victory. By showing up en masse, Sunrise hopes to demonstrate that the Green New Deal is not only good legislation, but also popular. If statewide demonstrations do not turn his head, recent Democratic wins in Virginia and Philadelphia should also demonstrate the power of the youth vote, which showed up in record numbers to support Sunrise endorsed candidates.

The Green New Deal is a comprehensive series of legislation designed to address climate change and create thousands of new jobs in the process. Taking its name from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s depression era labor reforms, the GND will shift the American economy away from its dependence on fossil fuel, reform our infrastructure, and address economic inequality across the nation. It aims to provide “all people of the United States with – high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing;  economic security; and access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature"[1] over the next ten years.

On December 6th let’s make downtown rattle with our voices. Let’s make the whole nation hear.

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