In response, the 21 youth plaintiffs of
Juliana v. United States, their attorneys and thousands of supporters rallied around the nation on Sunday and Monday to demand that the kids have their day in court.
I stand in solidarity with @youthvgov today as they coordinate rallies across the nation to keep our government accountable for the effects of climate change. Find your local rally: https://t.co/gcPsmAx8EP.
— Leonardo DiCaprio (@LeoDiCaprio) October 29, 2018
More than 90 scheduled events were organized across 41 states, with key rallies in San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Portland, Washington, DC, Seattle, Colorado Springs and St. Paul.
The central rally was held Monday on the steps of the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, where the trial was supposed to take place.
There are 100 people rallying with @youthvgov in DC right now demanding that young people be heard! The US government will be held accountable for #climatechange #TrialOfTheCentury pic.twitter.com/q7SCuDKBSS
— Karina Gonzalez (@Karinabgonzalez) October 29, 2018
A “huge spirited” crowd of 1,500 people—including 500 students who walked out of local high schools and the University of Oregon—braved occasional rains to attend the event, according to organizers.
350 Eugene director Patty Hine, Oregon State Senator James Manning, the youth plaintiffs and their attorneys gave speeches.
“The power of the people is more powerful than the people in power,” 18-year-old plaintiff and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez rapped in a stirring speech at the rally. “This is a movement founded in love.”
Hundreds of students and community members attend #LetTheYouthBeHeard rally in Eugene, Ore. in support of the Juliana v. United States climate change Supreme Court case on Oct. 29, 2018. #youthvgov pic.twitter.com/TCZF3ZXovf
— Sarah Northrop (SARTAKESPICS) (@SARTAKESPICS) October 29, 2018
The historic lawsuit was initiated by a group of teenagers and young adults against the U.S. government. They claim the government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by enacting policies that encourage climate change. The lawsuit was filed during the Obama administration and has survived multiple attempts by both administrations to halt the case. That was until Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court.
“Our constitutional democracy allows us to protect our liberty without declaring independence from our government, so long as those who govern assent to review by our courts and let the facts be told,” Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel of
Our Children’s Trust and co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs, said in a press release. “These young people deserve that chance to present their case against those who govern and let the light fall where it may.”
Kiran Oommen, a 21-year-old plaintiff, added in the press release, “On Monday, we rally for our right as American citizens to a fair trial. No matter how much the federal government might try to deny us that right, we will have our day in court. ”
Watch here for a Facebook Live of the Oregon rally.
— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch) October 22, 2018