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#NoMoreExcuses: Mass Action on Capitol Hill to Demand Dems Back Green New Deal Instead of Fossil Fuel Interests

"Every day for the past three weeks we have been asking our leaders in Congress: will you stand with us, fight for our futures, and back a Green New Deal? Today, we're here for their answer."

More than 800 climate action advocates attended a training in Washington, D.C. on Sunday ahead of a huge public action planned for Monday aimed at pressuring Democratic leaders to back a Green New Deal. (Photo: Sunrise Movement)

Following a Sunday night training, at least 1,000 people arrived on Capitol Hill Monday as the movement to pressure Democratic lawmakers to back a Green New Deal makes its final push before Congress heads into its holiday recess.

Thanks to the committed leadership of the youth-led Sunrise Movement and more than 100 other social justice and climate action groups, over the past two weeks 22 Democratic members of the House have now joined the call for presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to form a Select Committee.

The protesters are expected to call on Democrats to reject the influence of carbon-emitting industries, from which the party received more than $5 million in 2018.

"Politicians are giving bogus excuses for why they can't support the Select Committee on a Green New Deal," the group wrote in their call for attendees at Monday's action. "They have told us us they haven't read the resolution yet, that they support a Green New Deal but not this committee, that they admire our passion, but that we're young and naive and impatient...They're hoping our movement is just a flash in the pan and that they can wait us out.

"That's why now is the time to go bigger than ever. Between now and their final day on December 13th, Congress will be setting their agenda for 2019. That means we have just days to make sure a Green New Deal is front and center on the House's agenda."

Varshini Prakash, founder of the Sunrise Movement, rallied more than 800 demonstrators Sunday night at the pre-lobbying training.

"This was no accident," she told the crowd. "This is because you took action three weeks ago. This is because you have called and tweeted like your lives depended on it...because you visited hundreds of congresspeople's offices to demand that they back the Select Committee for a Green New Deal. You did that. We did that together."

Dozens of elected officials have pledged their support for the Green New Deal, which would create 10 million jobs in its first decade as Americans are put to work creating a new sustainable infrastructure with the goal of achieving a zero carbon economy by 2050.

Youth-led groups like the Sunrise Movement have been instrumental in calling attention to the urgency of passing a Green New Deal and shifting away from the coal, gas, and oil companies whose hundreds of millions of tons in annual carbon emissions have contributed to the climate crisis.

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