In a symbolic march from a community devastated by a wildfire three years ago to the doorsteps of politicians in power, a group of around 100 youth climate activists led by the Sunrise Movement demonstrated outside the San Francisco homes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Dianne Feinstein on Monday.
The group began their march in Paradise five weeks ago, and completed the 266-mile trek on Monday in SF.
Neither woman was home or came out to address the activists, but the group garnered a fair bit of attention for the protest. Reuters covered their march across the Golden Gate Bridge, Mother Jones covered the culmination of their march, and the Chronicle noted their demands and the 16-foot street mural that they painted outside Pelosi's home on Normandie Terrace in Pacific Heights. It read "Invest in us" and "Civilian Climate Corps" — the latter being the central demand of the Sunrise Movement, a civilian-led climate group to combat global warming, and it's part of Biden's American Jobs Plan.
The protesters chanted "Stand up or step aside!", "Feinstein be brave!" and "What do we want? A green new deal! When do we want it? Now!"
And as the Chronicle notes, there was a 10-year-old activist from Oakland named Eliot Kleidosty who took a megaphone and said, "Nancy Pelosi, I want you to get off your butt and do something. Our future is getting fudged up."
Our 266 mile march from Paradise to San Francisco ends at the home of @SpeakerPelosi— Generation on Fire 🔥 (@smvmtgenonfire) June 15, 2021
We demand a #CivilianClimateCorps—and we painted our transformative political vision on the street below her mansion.
Step up or step aside for good jobs to fight the climate crisis at scale. pic.twitter.com/UvnpCP4bB8
Sunrise California has arrived at the first stop of their final march: the home of @SenFeinstein— Generation on Fire 🔥 (@smvmtgenonfire) June 14, 2021
We demand a #CivilianClimateCorps. We demand transformative federal policy for good jobs to fight the climate crisis.
Be brave. No excuses. No compromises. This is our future. pic.twitter.com/AEXdxzbBOK
Through a spokesperson, Pelosi called the activists "an inspiration," and said that the climate crisis is "the existential threat of our time."
The youth-led Sunrise Movement notably disrupted the Democratic National Committee's Summer Meeting in San Francisco in August 2019. At the time they were demanding that one of the presidential primary debates be devoted entirely to the topic of climate change.
The group's next demonstration will be in Washington, D.C. on June 28, when they plan to bring youth from around the country to protest at the White House, demanding the fully funded civilian climate corps.
Sally Morton, a Sunrise Movement organizer, tells the Chronicle, "The fight doesn't end here."