US climate activists are recruiting their counterparts in Germany in a last-ditch effort to keep Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid — and his Green New Deal — viable in 2020.
The German activists pledged to make up to 10,000 calls to voters in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and Illinois before Tuesday’s primary elections in those states.
Election law and campaign finance experts say the volunteer activities appear to be above board, although a co-founder of Germany’s Fridays for Future, whose members helped organize the efforts, says they weren’t authorized by the group.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As Sen. Bernie Sanders presses on in what increasingly looks like a doomed bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, climate activists across the globe are doing their best to keep his candidacy afloat.
Young American climate activists are working to recruit environmental activists from Germany to rally support for Sanders through phone banking in key primary states.
Members of Germany’s largest climate advocacy group, “Fridays for Future” (FFF), are using WhatsApp chat groups to recruit volunteers for Sanders. The groups are open to anyone and once in, anyone can send messages to the group.
“In the US, our friends from Sunrise Movement, Youth Climate Strike, and Zero Hour have rallied behind Bernie Sanders,” an FFF coordinator wrote, according to a message viewed by Insider.
The person went on to explain that Sanders has the most ambitious climate policy in the Democratic field — the Green New Deal — a far-reaching set of climate and economic policy proposals.
“Do you want to help Bernie win the White House?” they continued. “Text me, if you want to help.”
Those interested were then invited to join another WhatsApp group, where they were given further instructions. By last Friday afternoon, the group had about 90 participants. The leaders emphasized that phone banking is a crucial part of Sanders’ efforts to overcome former Vice President Joe Biden’s delegate lead in the primary.
At 8 pm on Thursday, two members of an organization called “Germany For Bernie” used the video conferencing software Zoom to train potential volunteers. They explained how to use the phone banking system and showed them the script they’d need to follow.
The leaders performed several mock phone conversations with different types of voters ranging, including both supporters and critics of Sanders. Later, another member of the group introduced a system called “Spoke,” which can be used to target voters via text messages.
The members of the WhatsApp group committed themselves to calling 10,000 people by Tuesday, when primary elections are scheduled to take place in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio. (Ohio has since closed its polling places amid the coronavirus pandemic). And some of the group members said they were willing to recruit additional volunteers for the campaign through Fridays for Future’s European network.
Sanders is predicted to fall short in all of Tuesday’s contests, giving Biden a potential fast-track to the nomination.
Carla Reemtsma, a co-founder of Germany’s chapter of Fridays for Future, confirmed she’s aware of the American …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics