Following the path of thousands of families who permanently fled the lowest-lying major city in the United States in the wake of storms like Hurricane Katrina, a group of activists from the youth-led Sunrise Movement on Monday began a 400-mile march from New Orleans to Houston to demand President Joe Biden include “good jobs for all” and a Civilian Climate Corps in his $2.26 trillion infrastructure plan.
“This march symbolizes my story as a climate refugee who fled New Orleans and moved to Houston after Hurricane Katrina destroyed my city. This is me claiming agency over my future.”
—Chanté Davis, Sunrise Movement
Participants in the Sunrise Movement’s “Generation on Fire” campaign set out from the New Orleans Superdome—the site of so much suffering and a symbol of state failure following Katrina in 2005—and walked along the Mississippi River following a delay due to flash flood warnings.
The climate campaigners are marching “to make clear that young people are unsatisfied with Biden and Congress’ incremental, watered down proposals,” according to a statement from the group.
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With Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, “young people expect more from their political leaders,” the statement added.
The activists will stop in cities and towns along the march route to stage protests, rallies, and visioning sessions with community members. They will be joined by political leaders, environmental justice advocates, and other supporters.
“As a young person in the Gulf South, we’re living in constant crisis: hurricanes, superstorms, jobs that break our bodies and could be taken away at any minute,” said Chanté Davis, a high school senior and Sunrise Movement organizer.
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