Students show support for environmental human rights amendment
By Taylor McLaughlin
With the cold February winds roaring around them, students, politicians and activists gathered at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, urging lawmakers to pass the Environmental Human Rights Amendment.
If passed, the proposed amendment will “protect every person’s right to a healthy and sustainable environment,” according to the Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights.
On Friday, University of Maryland student activists and environmental science and policy students Laila Greene and Marilyn Yang took part in the rally.
Speaking to the crowd, Greene addressed key local issues. One of the most polluted rivers in the United States, the Anacostia River originates in Prince George’s County and flows through Washington, DC into the Potomac River, negatively impacting the people who live around it.
“We shouldn’t have to beg for a healthy environment. It should have been handed over to us,” Greene said. “We are overwhelmed. We are tired. We are scared. We’ve had enough.
Attendees included delegates Gabriel Acevero (D-District 39) and Linda Foley (D-District 15).
As a member of the Environment and Transportation Committee, Foley welcomed the crowds to Annapolis and spoke about the importance of the rally and student activism.
“We need to make sure we can shine those rights in a document that will carry on after all of us, because it’s not just your generation, it’s generations to come,” Foley said.
Acevero rallied the crowd.
“Just like the polluters, just like the big corporations and their lobbyists who keep coming to Annapolis to make sure we don’t pass bills like this, we’re going to keep showing up,” Acevero said. . “We will continue to demand and we will continue to fight until we get clean air, clean water and a clean environment as a human right.”