UPDATE 6 p.m.: An official from Senator Gary Peters’ office sent the following statement:
“Senator Peters did not vote for the Green New Deal when it came to a vote on the Senate floor. His focus is on commonsense efforts that effectively address climate change and protect the Great Lakes in a manner that will benefit Michigan workers and strengthen our economy and national security.”
LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Dozens of protesters came back to the capitol
fighting to prevent climate change from hitting them close to home less than three months after a day of international climate strikes.
“From the Flint water crisis to PFAS in our water,” Sunrise Movement member Jessica Diaz says, “we’re the Great Lakes state. And for us that means ensuring that all people over the state, no matter their color, their background, where they’re from, how much money they have, it means ensuring that they have clean water.”
Protesters want state lawmakers, including Senator Gary Peters, to show their support for the Green New Deal, a plan that would put more money toward efforts to fix the effects of climate change.
“It’s just setting an agenda more than anything, and I think that’s not just what we need,” Michigan State University student Sunawer Aujla says. “I think it should be done already. And I don’t understand why there’s a lot of, I don’t know, backlash on it.”
Peters did show support for some aspects of the Green New Deal in recent months, but for these protesters it’s not enough.
“We’re not going away,” Sunrise member Nicholas Jansen says. “This is not a hobby for us, this is not something we just do for fun. This is our livelihood, this is our future. And we’re going to continue to turn up. 2020 is going to be the biggest year ever and our generation, we’re the largest voting bloc in this country right now. And if politicians want our votes in 2020, they need to support a Green New Deal, the only proposal out there that addresses the scale of the crisis.”