Demonstrators in the streets of our nation are crying out for truth and justice. At an already contentious time in a deeply divided country, state-sanctioned violence, an election, and a dangling supreme court nomination have prompted protests from Louisville to Los Angeles. On Thursday, a cohort of youth activists, justice advocates and a live gogo band brought their impassioned message to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s front door. 

Sunrise DC, the organizer of the Thursday morning march that included music by Long Live GoGo say, “McConnell spent the summer blocking the passage of the HEROES act, while huge numbers of Americans fell ill, over 200,000 dying, from the coronavirus.” They are angered that McConnell is now moving at “unprecedented speed” to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court just four years after creating a new set of standards in order to block President Barack Obama’s pick for Supreme Court Justice in February of 2016. 

“We need to match the urgency with which McConnell is trying to fill Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s seat,” Sam Myszkowski, an organizer with Sunrise DC, tells ESSENCE. Though the grassroots movement has a larger focus on putting an end to the climate crisis, their immediate focus amid a time of racial and social unrest is defending Black life and making sure the Supreme Court justice who replaces Ruth Bader Ginsburg is willing to stand up for marginalized communities and the environment.    

Their intentionally noisy message to McConnell is, “No Justice, No Sleep.” If protesters can’t get rest during this turbulent time, neither should Mitch McConnell and others who they believe stand in the way of equality. “McConnell, the center of Republican power and hypocrisy in the Senate, is the latest subject of protest due to his blatant power grab as the late Justice’s body lays in repose,” the group said in a release.

Earlier this week the group set their sites on Lindsey Graham, whose home was the location of the first “wide awake” action. Despite saying in 2016 that a president in the last year of his four or eight-year term should not nominate a Supreme Court justice, he has fallen in line with McConnell. 

“We need someone on the court who will stand up for women, LGBT+ people, immigrants, workers, and the environment,” Myszkowski asserts. “And that won’t happen if McConnell confirms Trump’s nominee.” 


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