Climate activists go on hunger strike outside the White House

Democrats are butting heads over climate and social spending

Samuel Webb
Friday 22 October 2021 13:04
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<p>The hunger strikers are demanding action on the climate crisis</p>

The hunger strikers are demanding action on the climate crisis

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Climate activists have begun a hunger strike outside the White House to demand US President Joe Biden take action on the climate crisis.

Sunrise Movement, a campaign group of young people who want to stop climate change, want Biden to pass the Build Back Better Agenda with its full range of environmental policies.

Their demands come as the White House and Democrats are hurriedly reworking key aspects of President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion domestic policy plan, trimming the social services and climate change programs and rethinking new taxes on corporations and the wealthy to pay for a scaled-back package.

“We’re here to highlight how dire this moment is,” hunger striker Kidus Girma told the New Republic.

“A couple hundred people in a two-part building in DC are deciding the scope of what climate justice can look like—and not just climate justice, but a lot of critical programs that before this pandemic folks did not think were possible.

“We’re so close to landing things that seemed impossible and this hunger strike is about creating space for that possibility again.”

https://twitter.com/SunriseTempe/status/1450318402912874496

Earlier this week Sunrise Movement campaigners staged an overnight protest outside Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s office in Phoenix to demand she fight for climate change.

Sinema refuses to support the $3.5 trillion price tag for the plan originally proposed by the White House.

Yesterday Biden spoke of the challenge he faces in wrangling the sharply divergent factions in the Democratic party to agree to the final contours of the bill. With an evenly divided Senate, he can’t afford to lose a single vote, and he is navigating the competing demands of progressives, who want major investments in social services and climate change, and centrists like Sinema, who want to see the price tag on the package come down.

"When you’re president of the United States, you have 50 Democrats — every one is a president. Every single one. So you gotta work things out," he said during a CNN town hall.

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