Sunrise Movement

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Sunrise Movement is an American youth-led political movement coordinated by Sunrise, a 501(c)(4) political action organization that advocates political action on climate change. When first incorporated in 2017, the group's goal was to elect proponents of renewable energy in the 2018 midterm elections, first in the Democratic primaries and then in the general election. After the election, the organization has been focused on gaining a consensus within the Democratic Party in support of an environmental program known as the Green New Deal. Together with Justice Democrats and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the group organized a sit-in in the office of Nancy Pelosi, which brought Sunrise its first significant press coverage.


  • Sunrise is a movement of young people uniting to stop the climate crisis. We are building an army of young people to break the hold of oil and gas CEOs on our politics and elect leaders who will protect the health and wellbeing of all people, not just a wealthy few.
    • Sunrise Movement press release
  • I don’t know how @DNC leaders can look themselves in the mirror tonight. When @TomPerez & Dem Party leaders rejected a climate debate last month they promised us that they would ensure this issue got the attention it deserved. Tonight their check bounced.

Quotes about[edit]

(newest first)

  • The main part of politics is activism and mobilization. ...The fact that mobilization and activism, or the core of politics, there’s very dramatic examples of that, but... The Sunrise Movement is one of the, at the forefront of activism on climate. They got the point of civil disobedience, occupying congressional offices, occupying Nancy Pelosi’s office, demanding change or narrowly, they’d just be thrown out by the Capitol police. They weren’t this time because one person from Congress came and joined them. AOC came to join them. They weren’t thrown out, moved on, that’s what led to Biden’s climate program. Not great, but better than anything before.
    Popular activism interacting with supportive people in Congress tend to lead to results. And this is an old lesson, we should learn. It takes a new deal, which greatly improved of the floors, greatly improved American society. How did it come about? Hand-built by a combination of militant labor action, CIO organizing, sit down strikes and a sympathetic administration. That combination is crucial.
  • On Monday (25 Feb 2019), the Sunrise Movement, in the form of roughly 250 Kentucky high schoolers, occupied McConnell’s Senate office, resulting in 35 arrests. Some protesters held up a banner that read “Mitch, Look Us in the Eyes,” while others lined the halls outside his office... While the sit-in got little attention in the press, it appeared to have gotten McConnell’s. The majority leader, who is up for re-election in 2020, had recently been eager to put the Green New Deal on the Senate floor. All of a sudden, however, he suggested that it would come up at some point before the August recess.
    “This wouldn’t have happened without thousands of people across the country pressuring senators of both parties. Two weeks ago, McConnell was excitedly telling the media about his plans. Now, he seems happy to let this vote be forgotten,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of Sunrise. “You can bet Mitch McConnell was hearing from his own caucus about this vote. There were sit-ins and rallies at the offices of the Republicans most vulnerable in 2020: Ernst, [David] Perdue, Collins, Gardner, and of course, McConnell himself. They’re smart and don’t want to stand on the wrong side on the Green New Deal, which is very popular in their states.”

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