Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Over 150 middle and high school students demonstrated at the U.S. Capitol building Monday to urge senators to back the Green New Deal. (Photo credit: Sunrise Movement)

Over 150 middle and high school students demonstrated at the U.S. Capitol building Monday to urge senators to back the Green New Deal. (Photo credit: Sunrise Movement)

'Done Playing by the Rules,' 20 Sunrise Activists Arrested at Capitol Protest Demanding Lawmakers Back Green New Deal

Over 150 middle- and high-schoolers gathered to demand senators "stand up or step aside" on the climate crisis.

Andrea Germanos

Twenty teenagers were arrested Monday at the U.S. Capitol as they took part in a Sunrise Movement action demanding senators back the Green New Deal.

Those arrested, which included one 13-year-old, according to Sunrise, were part of larger climate action by more than 150 middle- and high-schoolers calling for the lawmakers to "step up or step aside."

"Instead of leaving our classrooms for our day off, we are bringing our classroom to the capitol because our government is failing to protect our generation, and we're terrified," said 17-year-old John Paul Mejia of Miami.

Video shared on the group's social media pages showed activists chanting "Which side are you on?" and holding "report cards" giving non-Green New Deal backers an F-.  At least two participants took to the floor of lobby to give speeches about the importance of urgent climate action by lawmakers before police came and demanded they leave. A large group left and continued their protest outside Union Station while a smaller group remained and was ultimately escorted away by police.

Evan Weber, who heads political strategy for Sunrise, said that it was "Sad that this is what young people have to do to make our voices heard."

Don't expect the climate group to let up anytime soon. Among their upcoming agenda items are three consecutive days of "massive srikes" set to begin Earth Day, April 22.

"It's only going to get worse unless thousands take action and force those in power to listen to our generation."
—Selene Santiago-Lopez
"We're done playing by the rules," declared 18-year-old Selene Santiago-Lopez of Wake Forest, N.C., who was among those arrested Monday, in a press statement. "Our entire lives, we've seen politicians failing our generation and our communities. People are dying, I'm terrified about what my future will look like, and it's only going to get worse unless thousands take action and force those in power to listen to our generation. That's exactly what we're going to do."

"Building up to Earth Day this year," she added, "you can expect to see what happened today, but bigger and bolder."

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), who unveiled the Green New Deal legislation last year alongside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), vocally supported the young climate activists and their Monday action.

"Young people deserve a future free from the climate crisis," Markey said on Twitter. "They deserve a Green New Deal that will protect our planet and create millions of union jobs. I stand with Sunrise Movement activists who took action today at the Capitol and will always fight for their future."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

AOC Warns That Corporate Lobbyists Would Love People to 'Give Up Before the Deal Is Done'

"It's way easier for them to try to get away with the things that they're lobbying for and against if people at home aren't watching," said the New York Democrat

Jon Queally ·


Tlaib Leads Call for Biden to Take 'Commonsense Steps' to Aid Afghan Evacuees

"Our country has long offered shelter to those seeking refuge from catastrophe. Now is the time to continue that tradition and stand beside Afghan evacuees in need."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Huge Win': Green Groups Applaud Biden Move to Protect Minnesota Watershed

"You don't allow America's most toxic industry next to America's most popular wilderness," said one environmental campaigner.

Brett Wilkins ·


Taking Aim at Predatory Equity Firms, Warren Leads Bill to 'Stop Wall Street Looting'

"Now is the time," asserted Sen. Bernie Sanders, "to end Wall Street's greed, protect workers, and create an economy that works for everyone, not just the 1%."

Brett Wilkins ·


Arizona Groups Demand Sinema 'Stop Obstructing' on Medicare Expansion

The diverse coalition called on the Democratic senator to back "bold drug pricing reform" and "critical improvements to Medicare's coverage" in the reconciliation package.

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo