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‘We don’t have any choice’: The young climate activists naming and shaming politicians

Sunrise Movement activists rallied outside of DNC headquarters in August 2019. This story was originally published by The Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. It was a Saturday night in September when 160 or so middle and high school students logged on to a Zoom call about how to confront American politicians using tactics inspired by young civil rights activists fighting for the abolition of slavery.

The teenagers were online with the Sunrise Movement, a nationwide youth-led climate justice collective, to learn about organizing Wide Awake actions — noisy night-time protests — to force lawmakers accused of ignoring the climate emergency and racial injustice to listen to their demands. It’s a civil disobedience tactic devised by the Wide Awakes — a radical youth abolitionist organization who confronted anti-abolitionists at night by banging pots and pans outside their homes in the run-up to the Civil War.

Now, in the run-up to one of the most momentous elections in modern history, a new generation of young Americans who say they are tired of asking nicely and being ignored, are naming and shaming U.S. politicians in an effort to get their concerns about the planet, police […]

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