Sunrise Movement activists arrested outside Ted Cruz's house

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner

Eight protesters were arrested for trespassing during a protest in front of Senator Ted Cruz’s house in Houston. Members of the Sunrise Movement marched from New Orleans to Houston with the intention of protesting against Cruz over climate change. They issued a call to action to fight climate change.

A group of about 50 to 70 Sunrise Movement activists (reports vary) walked the 400-mile journey. It took the marchers 40 days to complete. Leaving from New Orleans’ Mercedes Benz Superdome, the goal was to raise awareness of “climate disasters” that are the result of climate change. At least that is how the story is being reported. Some in the group held signs about other topics, though, like for good jobs.

It wasn’t a huge group but it was enough to garner attention from the press. Cruz lives in an exclusive area of Houston with its own police department. Houston Police Department also serves the area. Protesters from different groups have been busy this year protesting Cruz for different reasons. The Sunrise Movement wants Democrats to forget about trying to work with Republicans in Congress and pass Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Climate Civilian Corps Plan.”

AOC’s Climate Civilian Corps Plan comes from Joe Biden channeling his best impersonation of FDR. His proposal is that a Civilian Climate Corps is created, much like Depression-era federal government programs. It is a part of Executive Order 14008 that Biden signed in January titled “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.”

On January 27, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14008, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad.” Among its various provisions, the order directs the Secretary of the Interior, in collaboration with the Secretary of Agriculture and the heads of other relevant agencies, to submit a strategy to create a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative “within existing appropriations.” The order further directs that such an initiative should “aim to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate.” In March 2021, the Biden Administration included a recommendation for a $10 billion investment in the Civilian Climate Corps Initiative as part of the White House’s American Jobs Plan proposal. The Administration’s initial topline FY2022 discretionary budget request for the Department of the Interior (DOI) included $200
million for the initiative for the next fiscal year; additional funding information may be made available later.

Joe Biden has no new ideas, though, and this initiative is not a new one, either. It is being compared to the Civilian Conservation Corps that was federal employment and job training program operating from 1933 to 1943. Biden’s proposal didn’t include pertinent details such as how it would be executed. That is what Biden does, isn’t it? He presents big ideas and presents no actual plans to execute them. In January he wanted to work “within existing appropriations” and by March he was recommending $10 billion being thrown at his version of FDR’s federal government employment program. Joe Biden isn’t FDR, of course, and that is a good thing. He has no mandate for large sweeping changes. Fortunately, the Democrats hold only a slim majority in Congress and if legislation is to be passed, Republican support will be needed.

It should be noted that the Houston Police Department was busy running cover for the Sunrise Movement protesters. Assistant Chief Ben Tien made a point of telling local reporters that the group protest was “extremely peaceful” and a few arrests were made because those activists didn’t remain on the sidewalk. They went on Cruz’s front lawn and that was reason to charge them with trespassing. It was explained to all eight of the protesters who were arrested that they were trespassing on private property. They acknowledged that and said they chose to be arrested.

Before arresting those who refused to comply, police attempted to reason with the protesters and convince them to achieve a “peaceful resolution,” Tien added.

“I just want to take a moment to remind everyone the Houston Police Department supports First Amendment rights and supports public assembly, but it has to be done in a safe manner,” he said. “And it has to be done within the confines and within the scope of the laws.”

This isn’t the first protest in front of Cruz’s house this year. Most protests outside either Cruz’s house or office in Houston, or at Senator Cornyn’s Houston office garner little attention. Activists have been more aggressive this year against Cruz. They show up at his home and create enough distraction to receive local press, which often ends up in national press stories.

This isn’t the first time a protest has landed on Cruz’s front lawn. Demonstrators in January left coffins on the senator’s lawn after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and another crowd gathered at Cruz’s River Oaks home after he returned from Cancun during the winter storm in February.

The protests against Cruz over his escape to Mexico during the winter storm were a big story at the time. As usual, press coverage by liberal media outlets exaggerated much of the story. Reporters tried their best to accuse Cruz of animal abuse and neglect for leaving the family dog in the home. It turned out that a security guard was in charge of caring for him until Cruz’s arrival home.

It is odd that the protesters walked for over 400 miles, according to reporting, and yet there haven’t been stories of stops along the way to protest other lawmakers. There surely are at least a few that they could have protested between New Orleans and Houston. The Sunrise Movement is a young person’s group. They have a pinned tweet in support of the Civilian Climate Corps.

They aren’t always happy with Biden and Harris. They think Sleepy Joe moves too slowly.

Clearly, they chose to protest at Cruz’s house for a reason. That reason is likely the fact that Cruz is a lightning rod for liberal press coverage. He has the name recognition that gets eyes on the press reports.