Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

1,000 Youth Take to the Streets Demanding Climate Justice

Climate
1,000 Youth Take to the Streets Demanding Climate Justice

One year out from the presidential election, nearly a thousand youth from across the country took to the streets of Washington, DC to demand that candidates and elected officials adopt an agenda that delivers racial, immigration and climate justice.

College students and young people from across the country assembled early Monday morning in Franklin Square where they held a rally with speakers from immigration rights, social justice and climate movements. The speakers shared personal stories about the impacts of climate change, racial inequality and immigrant injustice in the daily lives of their families and communities.

Activists are requesting to meet with every presidential candidate to hear how they plan to deliver a justice agenda for the youth generation.

“The voices of those that have gone unheard for too long will be heard in this moment,” said Dante Barry, executive director of Million Hoodies. “A cross-section of youth activism have come together to say that change is something that we demand, and the time to act upon it is now. From environmental to criminal justice, the country we live in today does not reflect the beliefs of the population it comprises. We are here to take a stand, and to make our mark for a better future for the next generation. As we strive to strengthen the democratic process, we aim to empower those that have not yet found their voice while giving power back to people in communities across the nation to show that we are standing together, stronger than ever today. We will continue to work tirelessly and in solidarity until our goals are achieved.”

As the march headed toward H-street, the crowd shut down business-as-usual and held the intersection outside the White House for over two hours. During that time, participants centered around music and art, featuring speak-outs, street murals and the creation of a giant parachute banner. Chants of “The youth are rising, no more compromising” and “I believe that we will win” rang out across Lafayette Park.

“Immigrant communities continue to be criminalized, and we are here today to demand justice. Rogue agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continue terrorizing our communities and continue tearing people from their loved ones,” said Greisa Martinez, advocacy coordinator with United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. “Our political system is failing communities of color, and as 2016 approaches, it is up to us to demand real moral leadership for our communities. Candidates can’t simply rely on tired talking points, but instead must propose real solutions that allow people like my mother, Elia Rosas, to live with full dignity.”

The “Our Generation, Our Choice” action signaled the emergence of a powerful new alliance between different youth movements who are finding common cause in the lead up to the 2016 election. Youth have united around a common list of demands including calls to keep fossil fuels in the ground; protect and respect the dignity and lives of immigrants, and black, brown and poor communities; reinvest in healthy jobs, renewable energy, and overall, an economy that works for all. Monday’s demonstration was coordinated by United We Dream, Million Hoodies Project, Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network and supported by groups like 350.org.

“More than ever, our government must stop pouring resources into destructive, outdated systems that put profit before people. Together, the thousands of youth who risked arrest in demanding justice will continue to fight back against the violence that destroys our communities and our planet,” said Yong Jung Cho, campaign coordinator with 350.org. “In the last week, we have seen the tide turn against the fossil fuel industry and the extractive economy that it represents. History will show that organized people beat organized money. People power is the only thing that has ever created change, and we are unstoppable when we stand together.”

Led by young people, these organizations will continue to work together and to engage in the democratic process in pushing politicians to focus their agendas in the realities of the major crises of our time.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Carbon Levels Rising at ‘Frightening Speed’ As Greenhouse Gases and Global Temperature Hit Record High

Colbert: How Your Sex Life and the Keystone XL Are Connected

Bill Nye Is ‘Unstoppable’

Monsanto Wins Rubber Dodo Award

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less

Trending

In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
A field of sunflowers near the Mehrum coal-fired power station, wind turbines and high-voltage lines in the Peine district of Germany on Aug. 3, 2020. Julian Stratenschulte / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

The coronavirus pandemic has altered economic priorities for governments around the world. But as wildfires tear up the west coast of the United States and Europe reels after one of its hottest summers on record, tackling climate change remains at the forefront of economic policy.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch