Several youth activism organizations gathered at the Minnesota Capitol Monday to protest the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline and call for a “Minnesota Green New Deal.”
“We are changing the political landscape in Minnesota and although there is much more work to be done, we are so proud of what we have done. Youth voices matter, and we will continue to make that very clear to our state leaders this session,” a group called “Minnesota Can’t Wait” said in a statement.
Video from Monday’s demonstration shows dozens of youth activists gathered in the State Capitol, holding signs that say, “We elected you, meet with us,” and “Minnesota Green New Deal.”
“Even though they are not here right now, we’re going to make sure that they hear our message and that they hear our words, because they have to listen to us as public servants serving the state of Minnesota,” one speaker said during the event, referring to Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) and Lt. Gov Peggy Flanagan (D-MN).
“We are extremely glad that the governor has acknowledged the importance of incorporating science, law, and the importance of a ‘social permit’ in this pipeline decision, and has recognized the need to listen to those so often left out of these important processes such as youth and Minnesota’s indigenous people,” Minnesota Can’t Wait said in response. “We look forward to working with the governor and lieutenant governor on this topic and on the soon to be introduced Minnesota Green New Deal legislation – that will advance safe and long-term energy infrastructure, job creation, and prosperity for all Minnesotans.”
Minnesota Can’t Wait is also circulating a petition that will be sent to Walz, which calls for “setting a strong limit on greenhouse gas emissions through state policy, transitioning to clean energy solutions at scale and as quickly as possible,” and “expanding worker training to create sustainable jobs for workers currently employed by the fossil fuel industry and communities who have traditionally been excluded from economic success.”
“At a time when the Trump administration is dismantling legal protections for our planet, workers, and democracy that Americans have fought for centuries to earn, Minnesota’s leadership is needed now more than ever,” the petition states.
Minnesota Can’t Wait is partnering with several other climate organizations, including Will Steger’s Climate Generation, for a “Youth Climate Justice Summit” on February 20.
“The Youth Climate Justice Summit is a chance for youth to experience first-hand how to participate in government,” according to an event description for the summit. “Meet with Minnesota legislators that represent your district to talk to them about why we care about climate change and social justice.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Youth Environmental Activists Protesters” by Youth Environmental Activists Protesters.