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Sunrise RI disrupts Tom Perez event at Brown over DNC’s lack of urgency on climate change



Student activists from the Sunrise Movement, continuing their Washington DC protest where they occupied United States House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Democrat, California)’s office, gathered outside Brown University‘s Watson Institute to protest Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez.

Tom Perez inside the Watson Institute

The protesters want Democratic Party leaders to pledge that they will not accept money from fossil fuel companies or their executives and to adopt a Green New Deal into the party platform, as laid out in a resolution by Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Democrat, New York) who rallied with the students in Pelosi’s office.

While nearly fifty protesters rallied outside the Watson Institute, about twenty more were inside where Tom Perez was speaking in a classroom that held between 55 and 60 people. As Perez began to speak, the protesters rose together, unfurled a banner and began to sing. Brown student Nina Wolff Landau then addressed Perez directly:

“We are here today as Sunrise Rhode Island to demand stronger leadership on climate change from the Democratic Party. As we speak, nearly 1000 people are missing in California fires and over 77 have perished. As the UN Climate Report tells us, we only have 12 years to radically transform our economy to stop the crisis of climate change. Politicians like you have not demonstrated the leadership we need to meet the scale and scope of this crisis. We need you to stand up for our generation. We are asking that the DNC reject all contributions from fossil fuel lobbyists and executives and we are asking for the Green New Deal be incorporated into the Democratic Party platform as outlined in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution for a Green New Deal.”

After Wolff Landau’s statement, the protesters left the Perez event while singing, leaving the auditorium less than two-third full.

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The video from inside the Watson Institute is the fifth one below. I covered the event outside, which began with speaker Lauren Maunus:

Wassa Bagayoko:

Lily Gordon:

Dana Kurniawan:

Here’s the video from inside the Watson Institute:

Here’s the video from outside the Watson Institute as the Sunrise Movement protesters exited the building:

Emma Bouton:

Nina Wolff Landau explained to me what happened inside in her own words:

Galen Winsor:

Lauren Maunus:

Between speeches the protesters engaged in singing and chants. Here they are:

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About the Author

Steve Ahlquist is Uprise RI's co-founder and lead reporter. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for nearly a decade.