Fifty climate activists rallied outside the Rockville office of Marc Elrich, the MOCO County Executive today to protest the woeful shortcomings in the County's new “Climate Action Plan” (CAP.) The protest was led by the young people of Sunrise Rockville and co-sponsored by Extinction Rebellion MOCO and MOCO 350.org. Cars circled in front of the building honking their horns with signs calling for “Climate Justice.”
The protest was timed to follow the County’s Sunday deadline for official comments on the CAP—and for a MOCO “no school day.” Sunrise is part of a coalition of 26 MOCO climate and environmental groups who collaborated on a single set of comments on the CAP submitted on Sunday: bit.ly/CommentbyCAPCoalition; bit.ly/CAPCoalitionSigners.
Sunrise joined the Coalition in demanding the County stop its interminable delays, move up its deadline and release a specific set of actions no later than Earth Day, April 22nd. If the County refuses, Sunrise and the other co-sponsoring organizations promised to continue protests leading up to Earth Day.
Sisters Eleanor and Rosie Clemans Cope both from Sunrise Rockville led the crowd in a series of chants and then each spoke. Eleanor is a Junior ar Richard Montgomery H.S., Rockville. Rosie is a 7th grader at Pyle Middle School in Bethesda.
"The climate crisis is urgent and catastrophic and Montgomery County knows it. Yet three years after the County declared a climate emergency, they still have taken little real action. We do applaud the Schools for finally starting to purchase electric buses as we demanded, but it is a drop in the bucket for the County.
The County released the draft Climate Action Plan, and after two years of work, the plan is vague, unactionable, has few details and no timeline, and stops at an 83% emissions reduction, not even following through on its stated goal.
It is time for nonviolent direct action. The youth, and adult allies, of Montgomery County demand a plan that is detailed enough to be implemented and a legislative and executive action package based on that, ready to be implemented by Earth Day.
Our lives are on the line. Our communities are on the line. Montgomery County needs to follow up on their words with policy."