Climate strike to organize at Michigan State Capitol  

Pressure mounts for Green New Deal support  

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THURSDAY, Dec. 5 — Hundreds of activists are slated to arrive at the steps of the Michigan State Capitol tomorrow afternoon to rally for the environment and convince legislators to co-sponsor the Green New Deal. 

“We’re building an army of young people to make climate change an urgent priority across America, end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics, and elect leaders who stand up for the health and well-being of all people,” according to the Sunrise Movement website, organizers of the nationwide event. 

Sunrise Movement’s upcoming “climate strike” is scheduled for 2 p.m. tomorrow in various cities across the country and will coincide with the UN’s annual climate conference. The goal: Revive the momentum from the last national climate strike in September and bring the heat straight to elected officials’ doorsteps. 

“We are ordinary young people who are scared about what the climate crisis means for the people and places we love,” according to a press release from the Sunrise Movement. “Everyone has a role to play. Public opinion is already with us. If we unite by the millions, we can turn this into political power and reclaim our democracy.” 

Activists had also planned to storm the office of Sen. Gary Peters’ Lansing office this afternoon to garner support for the Green New Deal — a non-binding resolution introduced earlier this year by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, that aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and drastically slash carbon emissions by 2050. 

Organizers, however, have since canceled the event because Peters’ Lansing office will be closed for the day. 

According to The Detroit News, Peters has only supported “parts” of the resolution but has declined to back the plan, instead focusing on “specific pieces of legislation that actually move us down the road.” Peters also declined to support or denounce the deal on the Senate floor, only voting “present” when the issue came up last month. 

Organizers at the Sunrise Movement labeled that move a mistake. “As the 2020 elections approach, it is more important than ever to hold politicians accountable for pursuing bold climate action. Young constituents will show politicians, like PEters, that if they want our votes in 2020, they must back a Green New Deal.” 

According to Data for Progress, about 57 percent of Michiganders support the Green New Deal and a recent Cook Poll shows that 66 percent of Michigan swing voters back it as well. Organizers said its passage will help avoid an irreversible chain reaction of ecosystem collapse and natural disasters induced by climate change. 

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