Supporters of 21 children and young adults who are suing the federal government will gather in cities and towns across the U.S. in the coming days to urge the justice system to hear the plaintiffs' case.
The plaintiffs in the landmark climate case Juliana vs. the U.S. were planning to bring their case to trial this coming Monday, October 29, after fighting in the courts for three years in order to hold the government accountable for its failure to protect their generation from the climate crisis.
The U.S. Supreme Court took the highly unusual step of issuing a stay on the case at the request of the government—which argued the cost of litigation would be burdensome.
"As the administration pulls out every attempt to delay, deceive, and distract us from what's being considered the trial of the century, it makes you wonder just what they're hiding." —Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org
"This lawsuit could change everything, but the federal administration continues to try and silence these courageous youth," said Thanu Yakupitiyage, communications manager for 350.org. "All of us have a responsibility to double down in supporting the young people holding the U.S. government responsible for perpetuating climate change and threatening our collective future."
In response, the young plaintiffs, who are represented by Our Children's Trust, quickly pulled together a 103-page brief "in hopes of receiving a decision from the Chief Justice before the week’s end."
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The rallies will be held on Sunday and Monday in cities including Eugene, Oregon, where the trial was scheduled to begin in a U.S. District Court; Washington, D.C.; and New York, with supporters demanding the case be allowed to move forward. A map showing the locations of the events in nearly every state in the nation is available here.
The 21 Juliana v. US youth plaintiffs are suing the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by causing #climatechange. The government continues to try to silence them. Stand in solidarity with these climate heroes on Monday: https://t.co/g2BOsGT4a3 #youthvgov pic.twitter.com/48gym7vyYl
— Our Children's Trust (@youthvgov) October 23, 2018
"As the administration pulls out every attempt to delay, deceive, and distract us from what's being considered the trial of the century, it makes you wonder just what they're hiding," said Yakupitiyage. "That's why thousands of people will rally across the country, demanding these youth voices are heard and that the government act in accordance with our constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property."
The plaintiffs "allege that the U.S. government has knowingly violated their constitutional rights for over 50 years by causing and contributing to climate change," said Our Children's Trust in a call to action.
"On October 29th," the group added, the young people "will march into court—with America standing behind them—to demand a science-based National Climate Recovery Plan: a plan that would end the reign of fossil fuels and require the United States government to do its part to address dangerous climate change for young people and all future generations."