On February 17, in the midst of their national summit for Middle School and High School leaders, many organizers with the Sunrise Movement marched on the Capitol to protest the inaction of various elected officials when it comes to climate change.

The movement’s Instagram caption reads “…Our senators are failing us by refusing to pass a #GreenNewDeal. It’s time that they either step up or step aside because we can’t wait any longer, and we won’t be silenced”.


Photo by Kell Schneider

Photo by Kell Schneider


As the demonstration continued, participants held signs bearing the grades Senators refusing to endorse the Green New Deal had received based on their climate action records, each sign bore a failing grade. The demonstrators occupied the Capitol’s Visitor Center, chanting and singing. There they dropped two flanking banners reading: “#GENERATIONGND” and another centered banner reading: “Senators, step up or step aside”.

Sacramento activist, Alex DeNuzzo, who attended the demonstration, explained, “As Capitol Police gave us our first warning, the majority of us left the building.

Twenty stayed behind, received the full three warnings and were arrested. As they were escorted outside, they could be heard singing ‘Courage, my friend, you do not walk alone’. It’s this level of personal sacrifice that makes Sunrise truly special”.

This action was one of many taken in the past few months by the Sunrise Movement as they enter 2020 advocating for a Green New Deal and other progressive climate action policies. As the elections approach, grassroots movements such as Sunrise have worked tirelessly to tell their stories and motivate the public to be aware and vote for change.