A mob of teen climate activists stormed House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s office in Washington, D.C., on Thursday over the impending government shutdown.
The Sunrise Movement, a youth group that describes itself as the “climate revolution,” was behind the protest that drove more than two dozen young people to occupy McCarthy’s office.
The protesters carried signs that read, “The GOP hates Gen Z” and “Climate action not shutdowns.”
“We are demanding that Kevin McCarthy and the GOP not move forward with the government shutdown because the climate crisis is actively raging outside of our windows,” Adah Crandall, a teen organizer from Portland, Oregon, told USA TODAY. “The GOP has blood on its hands.”
A U.S. Capitol Police spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY that 18 people were arrested over the protest.
Earlier this month, more left-wing activists occupied McCarthy’s office in Washington, D.C., over the reauthorization of PEPFAR, a program that works with nonprofits to provide HIV/AIDS medication around the world.
Video of the protest was shared on X, formerly Twitter, by Politico reporter Alice Miranda Ollstein. The protesters were arrested and “marched out in zip ties” while chanting “pass PEPFAR now,” according to Ollstein.
“BREAKING: Activists are occupying @SpeakerMcCarthy’s office demanding a full 5 year reauthorization of PEPFAR, which some Rs are opposing,” Ollstein wrote.
Housing Works, one of the groups behind the protest, posted on X that it was “proud” to be part of the demonstration.
“BREAKING: We’re proud to be with @HealthGAP occupying the D.C. office of @SpeakerMcCarthy calling on him to PASS PEPFAR NOW. This global AIDS program has saved 25 million lives. We need a CLEAN 5-YEAR REAUTHORIZATION from Congress,” the group wrote.
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.