On Capitol Hill, police arrested 51 youth climate activists Tuesday as they held a nonviolent sit-in protest inside the office of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, demanding a “Green New Deal” and urgent action on climate change. Philadelphia activist Sophia Zaia of the Sunrise Movement said she was compelled to act because of the historic wildfires raging in Pelosi’s home state of California.
Sophia Zaia: “Back in Nancy Pelosi’s home state, 42 people were just burned alive by wildfires, that are described as fire tsunamis, that we literally do not know how to fight. And she’s come to that crisis with a water gun, saying that she’s going to revive a committee to talk about evidence of climate change? That maybe would have been helpful back in 1968, when Exxon first learned about climate change. But that, today, is so, so far from what we need.”
Congressmember-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist from New York who last week became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, joined the protest inside Pelosi’s office, telling the activists she’d push for the U.S. to get to 100 percent renewable energy. Ocasio-Cortez was on Capitol Hill for a freshman congressional orientation.