For Immediate Release
Senator Carper to Millennials: “I do not commit [to blocking Trump]. We will work with Trump where we can.”
As part of nationwide day of action against corporate Democrats, millennial-led group #AllofUs staged a sit-in at pro-fossil fuel Senator Tom Carper’s office
WASHINGTON - This morning, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), told Anthony Torres, age 22, and 17 other young people sitting-in in his office, that he would not commit to blocking President-elect Trump’s “hateful agenda.” Senator Carper’s response illustrates the refusal of corporate Democrats to take a meaningful stand against the Trump administration’s racist and fascist agenda.
“I was very disappointed by Sen. Carper’s response that we should give Trump a chance. We can not afford to normalize or negotiate with Donald Trump. He's a threat to communities, immigrants and Muslims. There are no policy wins when our communities are threatened or when our entire planet is at stake. It’s clear we need new leadership to lead the opposition against Trump’s agenda of hate,” said Anthony Torres, a member of #AllOfUs.
The sit-in was organized by the multiracial, millennial-led group #AllOfUs as part of a nationwide #JoinTheOpposition day of action demanding that Democrats oppose Donald Trump’s greedy and hateful agenda without compromise. Carper has often sided with the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests, including refusing to block the Keystone XL pipeline, and is currently favored to be the Democratic Party’s ranking member of the Committee on Environment & Public Works. The group took over Senator Carper’s Washington office to demand that he step aside and allow progressive climate champion Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to take on the role.
In the leadup to the 2016 election, #AllofUs conducted a series of sit-ins and protests, aimed at pressuring Republican leadership to disavow Donald Trump because of his racist and anti-women rhetoric. Following Trump’s election, #AllofUs has shifted its focus to establishment Democrats, especially those who have indicated a willingness to align with Trump.
“We are demanding that in addition to Senator Carper stepping down from being the ranking member on Environment and Public Works, that he publicly denounce Jeff Sessions appointment, as he did with Bannon, and that Democrats join #AllOfUs in committing to blocking Trump at every single step; we can’t negotiate for crumbs when our communities are at stake,” said Anthony Torres.
“Senator Carper’s response to our demands shows exactly why we can't trust him with the task of leading the opposition to Trump and the GOP’s agenda in the Environment and Public Works committee,” said Evan Weber, an #AllOfUs member. “Carper has sided with the fossil fuel industry throughout his career--voting to allow offshore drilling, against stronger emissions standards on vehicles, and for the Keystone XL pipeline. We need someone who has proven that they will be a champion for the people and the planet in this moment and that’s why we’re asking Jeff Merkley to lead the opposition to a greedy fossil fueled agenda. He’s shown he isn’t afraid to speak out against Trump or stand up the Democratic party establishment.”
“Trump is already filling his administration with people whose values align with his hateful, dangerous campaign promises, like racist ‘alt-right’ leader Steve Bannon as his chief strategist and climate science denier Myron Ebell leading the EPA transition. Republicans in Congress have made it clear they will support his hateful agenda,” said #AllOfUs member Jameka Hodnett. “It will be up to Democrats to take a firm stand against racism, bigotry, and climate denial, and since Senator Carper has proven that he’s not up for the task, it’s time for him to step aside.”
Staffer: Thank you guys…
[Senator Carper walks out of his office.]
Sen. Carper: Hold on. Hold on, quiet down. Where are you guys from?
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#AllofUs crowd: I’m from RI, HI,
Anthony Torres with #AllofUs: : Hi senator Carper, we are here with #AllofUs.
Carper: I want to hear from all the people.
#AllofUs crowd: We’re here with a message though.
Carper: I’m happy to spend a few minutes here, but I’m in charge. OK, Sit down and be quiet. We’re here. Do you want to hear from us? I want people to introduce themselves. I’m not here to listen to you. I’m here to welcome you
Torres: We’re allowing you the respect listen to us and have a dialogue.
[Everyone introduces themselves]
Torres: Thank you Senator. Thank you for joining us out here we appreciate that. We are here with #AllofUs because we are demanding that you, yourself step aside as ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and allow for Senator Merkley to lead the Democratic opposition to stop Trump’s agenda.
We can not afford to normalize or negotiate with Trump. He's a threat to communities, immigrants and Muslims. There is no policy win when our communities are threatened or when our planet is at stake. We are demanding that in addition to you stepping aside, that you publicly denounce Jeff Sessions, as you have with Bannon. And also, join Democrats in committing to block every single step of Donald Trump’s agenda, and not negotiating for crumbs when our communities are at stake. Do you commit to those demands?
Carper: Thank you for those demands. I do not commit. I appreciate it. I served on this Committee for 16 years. On the environment and public works committee. I think you all will find that in terms of my voting record with the environmental folks is around 80%.... As what I did as a Congressman, Senator and Governor. I have great respect for Jeff Merkley. I look forward to work with him. We were on the elevator this morning, he’s a good friend and partner. Hillary Clinton - when she spoke on day after the election, a hard and difficult speech for her to give, said - whether you like the outcome of the election or not, Donald Trump is gonna be our president, at least for a while. We should try to work with him. Where we can work with his administration, we will. Where we don’t agree with him, we will fight like hell. Thank you for joining us.
Torres: Well we can’t afford to negotiate with Donald Trump.
Staffer to Secretary: Can we call capitol police?
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