Campaigners with the Sunrise Movement

Campaigners with the Sunrise Movement assembled at the headquarters of President Joe Biden's 2024 campaign in Wilmington, Delaware on February 12, 2024.

(Photo: Sunrise Movement)

'Lead or Lose': 21 Arrested Blockading Biden Campaign HQ Over Climate, Gaza

"This is an emergency. We're choking on smoke, our homes are flooding," said Sunrise Movement. "Biden needs to act like it."

Displaying signs that read, "Fund Climate, Not Genocide," nearly two dozen campaigners with the Sunrise Movement on Monday were arrested after assembling at U.S. President Joe Biden's 2024 campaign headquarters and issuing the latest warning that Biden will lose crucial votes from young people unless he ends his support for Israel's massacre in Gaza and takes bold climate action.

"Lead or lose," said the organizers, calling on the president to declare a climate emergency and end his approval of continued fossil fuel extraction, which he has given while championing his own climate laws as the "most ambitious in American history."

About 100 campaigners blockaded the headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.

"If he doesn't stand for a cease-fire [in Gaza] and take bold action to end the era of fossil fuels, millions of young people will stay home in November," said Sunrise.

While being led away by a police officer, one protester said American communities are "under attack" as "wildfires, storms, droughts, [and] hurricanes" become more frequent and severe.

Unless the president takes far-reaching action, including declaring a climate emergency, said the campaigner, "this is Joe Biden's legacy."

The protest came just over two months after an analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity showed the projected emissions cuts from the Inflation Reduction Act have been undermined by Biden's approval of the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, offshore oil and gas lease sales, and liquefied natural gas terminals.

"Biden can't build renewables on Monday, build fossil fuels on Tuesday, and then claim to be climate president," said Ariela Lara, a 17-year-old Sunrise Movement volunteer. "That's not how science works, and young voters know it."

The group noted that the U.S. produced a record amount of fossil fuels in 2023, despite clear warnings from energy and climate experts that policymakers around the world must help ensure a rapid reduction in emissions and a transition to renewable energy.

"This is an emergency. We're choking on smoke, our homes are flooding," said the Sunrise Movement. "Biden needs to act like it."

The group pointed to actions Biden could take "tomorrow" without congressional approval to protect communities that are vulnerable to wildfires, extreme storms, and other effects of the climate crisis.

It also called on other supporters to overwhelm Biden's campaign office with faxes demanding that the president declare a climate emergency.

A climate emergency declaration would allow Biden to reinstate a ban on crude oil exports, halt oil and gas drilling in federal waters, and stop U.S. investment in fossil fuel projects overseas.

"Climate change is at our doorstep. Our homes are flooding, we're breathing in toxic air, Black people like me are dying while the president expands oil and gas production to record levels," said Sunrise campaign director Kidus Girma. "Then President Biden goes around and claims he's a climate president and wants our votes? That's bullshit."

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