This revitalized climate movement isn’t a fluke. Sunrise leaders say their secret sauce is a relatively new organizing strategy called Momentum, which teaches activists how to keep a movement growing instead of fizzling out after a few splashy protests. The Momentum approach has also influenced the Black Lives Matter movement and the immigration rights group Cosecha, as well as new climate groups like Extinction Rebellion, and some older ones like 350.org. For Sunrise, which claims 15,000 members in 200 hubs across the country, the strategy seems to be particularly effective.
ON MONDAY NIGHT, at the final stop on the Sunrise Movement’s “Road to a Green New Deal” tour across the United States, the group called for a mass, youth-led mobilization to pressure Democratic candidates to make the 2020 election a referendum on climate change. On July 30, the scheduled date for the second Democratic presidential debate, Sunrise hopes to bring tens of thousands of young people to Detroit to present all the Democratic contenders with three demands: