A coalition of groups advocating for green jobs and other progressive programs protested in front of Congressman Kevin McCarthy's house in Bakersfield early Friday morning, prompting a response from police.
The 4:30 a.m. gathering was made up of young adults and youth who want McCarthy to meet with them and consider their demands: for McCarty to hold a public town hall meeting, pledge to help create green jobs and support legislation for Medicare for All and extended unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
The demonstrators were led by the Kern County arm of a group called the Sunrise Movement, a nationwide, youth-led group focused on stopping climate change and promoting a Green New Deal. A news release about the protest in front of McCarthy's home said it also involved members of Our Revolution Kern, Democratic Socialists of America Kern County, the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Kern Young Democrats and others.
"McCarthy’s constituents, roughly half of which are under the age of 34, care about protecting the working class here in Kern County. They want renewable energy jobs that protect the land in our district. They want safe and healthy environments for everyone. And they want to ensure that frontline communities — who are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, and people of color — no longer suffer the lasting health consequences of the fossil fuel industry and are not sacrificed for one man's profits," said a news release from Sunrise Movement — Kern County.
"We say enough is enough. We have a message for all local, state, and federal Kern County politicians. If you don’t work to dismantle the white supremacist ideals that devalue (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) lives, if you don’t advocate for a just transition for workers while moving away from fossil fuels, you need to resign,” said Riddhi Patel, the local coordinator for Sunrise Movement - Kern County, in the news release.
McCarthy tweeted that he was grateful to the Bakersfield Police for responding to his home.
"THANK YOU for keeping the peace at 4:30am when protestors showed up at my home to try to intimidate my neighbors and my family," McCarthy said.
I’m thankful every day for police officers that keep our communities safe. But today, in particular, I’m grateful to the @bakersfieldpd.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 4, 2020
THANK YOU for keeping the peace at 4:30am when protestors showed up at my home to try to intimidate my neighbors and my family.
The news release from the protestors said "about 11 police vehicles arrived at the scene for no more than 20 children and young adults."
It also said demonstrators distributed a letter apologizing to neighbors for the early morning noise around the neighborhood.