Protesters with the progressive group “The Sunrise Movement” gathered outside the home of Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.
From the Sunrise Movement:
No justice, no sleep Mitch.
You let our economy tumble into free-fall, our people be gunned down in the streets by killer cops, & our planet be ravaged by your oil CEO friends.
This #Juneteenth , we’re wide awake.
In November when we vote you out, maybe you’ll wake up, too.
CourierJournal reports it was before sunrise when more than 30 youth activists began their march to the home of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a politician who’s been in office longer than they’ve been alive.
Wearing black shirts and masks, they walked down Bardstown Road shortly after 6 a.m., carrying signs that said “Look us in the eyes” and “Wake up Mitch.”
“Breonna couldn’t sleep. Neither should Mitch,” a banner read, referencing the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, at her apartment in southern Louisville.
The activists, most in their 20s, knew the senator would likely be in Washington, D.C., not Kentucky.
“I don’t think, especially with our generation, that we’ve ever had this chance to take over our future,” said Derik Overstreet, 23, with Bowling Green for Peace. “And it’s really important that this doesn’t turn into a summer trend. It’s really important that this doesn’t fade away.”
But in the initial hours of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in America, they wanted to make their voices heard — even if only symbolically.
The early morning demonstration came amid ongoing protests against police violence and systemic racism, with people in Louisville demanding justice for Taylor, who died at the hands of police on March 13.
And with McConnell up for reelection in November, group members said they wanted to make it known that their generation is looking for new leadership.
“Not only are we wide awake to the problems that we face,” said Maxwell Farrar, 29, of the Sunrise Movement, “but we’re also wide awake to the solutions that we need. We’re not here to just complain on the internet. We’re here to get the solutions we need. We know, from the hood to the holler, Kentuckians know we need change right now.”