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Climate Change Protest at PA Dem Party HQ Leads to Arrests
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Climate Change Protest at PA Dem Party HQ Leads to Arrests

Sunrise Movement Activists Push for a DNC-Hosted Climate Change Debate

Yesterday, eleven people were arrested in Center City by Philadelphia police during a sit-in to pressure Democratic representatives to publicly endorse a climate debate. They were among over a hundred demonstrators who gathered in front of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s Philadelphia Headquarters near City Hall. The activists were members of the Sunrise Movement, a national youth-led political movement advocating political action on climate change such as the Green New Deal.

The protesters were arrested as they sat in front of six elevators in the Philly headquarters, holding signs that read “DNC: Time is Running Out” and “This is an Emergency: Act Like It.” Their goal was to convince local Democratic leaders to pressure the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to commit to hosting a climate debate for presidential candidates. The protest followed a deadly heatwave affecting two-thirds of the United States and the hottest June temperatures ever recorded in history.

“I’ve grown up watching the climate crisis and fossil fuel executives destroy communities. The DNC owes it to young people to give us more than a few minutes to hear what the candidates’ plans are to save my generation.”

Abigail Leedy (18) of West Philadelphia

A hundred miles away, another one hundred young people demonstrated in front of the New York State Democratic Party Headquarters in New York City. The rallies aim to influence the DNC’s August 22nd vote on whether or not to host a debate solely focused on the candidate’s plans to address climate change, which was announced after a three-day sit-in by Sunrise leaders in June at the Washington DC headquarters.

Polls show that two-thirds of Democratic voters and over forty percent of registered voters overall want a climate debate, as well as a number of organizations and nearly every Presidential candidate.

More protests are planned at other state and local Democratic Party offices ahead of the August DNC vote in San Francisco, including a protest in Detroit next week at the July 30th-31st second presidential debate.

Climate Protest Philadelphia

Curious about what else Sunrise is up to? Check out their website:

Or keep up to date with the Philly Sunrise Movement chapter on their Facebook page:


Photos:  Rachel Warriner

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Madeleine Jones, who goes by her last name, is the Editorial Intern at Green Philly. She is new to Philadelphia and recently graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA, with a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and International Studies. Jones spends her free time with her nose buried in books, sampling Philly's vegan restaurants, fawning over her pet mouse, and filling out job applications. View all posts by Jones

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