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Sunrise RI confronts Senator Whitehouse over his excuses for not supporting the Green New Deal

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“We are demanding that we not be written off as young people excited to be engaged in our civic duty. We want to be listened to. We are knowledgeable and powerful voters and we are on the right side…”

Thirty people, members and allies of Sunrise RI went to United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse‘s downtown Providence office on Wednesday, the day after they disrupted the Senator at Cranston’s Central Library. Sunrise RI is pressuring Whitehouse to support the Green New Deal, given his strong stance on climate issues. Whitehouse flatly refuses to do so, to the consternation of many.

Whitehouse himself was not preset, so Sunrise RI delivered their message to George Carvalho, Whitehouse’s Rhode Island State Director.

Members of Sunrise RI came prepared with a point by point rebuttal to each of the reasons Whitehouse has given for not supporting the Green New Deal.


Here’s the rest of the videos:

Sunrise RI arrives at Whitehouse’s office:

Members and allies introduce themselves and explain their reasons for being there.


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Carvalho explains that Whitehouse will not be reconsidering his position.

“We cannot rely on politicians to take our future seriously unless we hold them accountable,” said Nina Wolff Landau, head of Federal Politics for Sunrise RI. “We cannot continue to support politicians who ignore the threats to our future and refuse to take the bold action that we need.

“Last night… I was reminded again that even Democrats like Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who claim to be climate champions, are making excuses, instead of supporting the action we need.”

Whitehouse “has continually said it’s time to wake up about climate change,” continued Wolff Landau. “Now we need him to move from words to action. Senator Whitehouse disappointed us again last night by saying he will not support this resolution and instead work with establishment Democrats and Republicans who tout incrementalism as the solution.

“We keep hearing that the Senator is excited to see young people’s enthusiasm on this issue. But the reality is: We’d rather not be here. We have jobs. We have school. We have other responsibilities. and we have other things to do on a Wednesday afternoon.

“But we’re here because we have to be. For the air we breathe, the water we drink, the places we call home. We have to be here, to keep our politicians accountable.

“We are demanding that we not be written off as young people excited to be engaged in our civic duty. We want to be listened to. We are knowledgeable and powerful voters and we are on the right side…”

Carvalho left the room, saying he was very busy.

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Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade. atomicsteve@gmail.com