Climate change group presses RI political leaders

Members of the “Sunrise Movement” rally in downtown Providence on September 9, 2019, calling for political leaders to reject campaign funds from fossil fuel interests and to embrace efforts to counter climate change. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

Members of a group urging a response to what they call the climate change crisis rallied in downtown Providence Monday, calling on politicians to reject campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests and to adopt an agenda aimed at countering the effects of climate change.

The group Sunrise Movement drew over 150 people to Burnside Park Monday morning. They called on political leaders to respond to the changing climate by adopting the “Green New Deal”, an agenda to counter climate change and economic inequality by funding public works projects, and pledged support for a worldwide “climate strike” planned for September 20.

“Here in Rhode Island, we’ve already hit the benchmark of two degrees warming, there’s sea level rise, there’s so many challenges that Rhode Island will face,” said Hannah Perry, 24.

“There are politicians who claim to be leaders in the climate movement who won’t support the bold solutions that we need like the Green New Deal,” said Perry, a graduate of George Washington University from Omaha, Nebraska.

“I live on the coast, and each storm that comes through, as they get worse, I have to go and protect my family, I have to board up the house, and I have to ensure that as my parents get older, I’m going to be able to care for them,” said Cara Montminy-Crabree, 19, a Rhode Island College environmental studies major who said only that she is from Rhode Island. “And, I want to be able to have a good job that I’ll be able to provide for my future family and also for for the family that I have now.”

Wearing tee shirts reading “Sunrise Movement” and “Green New Deal”, waving signs saying “We Deserve A Future” and “Fight For A Green New Deal”, the group formed a line and sang and chanted as they marched to the downtown office of Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and said that they would march to the State House office of Governor Gina Raimondo to press home their issues.