Juliana v. U.S. plaintiff speaks to Medford church community

KTVL / Jennevieve Fong

A plantiff in landmark climate lawsuit against the federal government spoke in Medford on Sunday afternoon.

Juliana v. United States is case with 21 young plaintiffs who are fighting against the government. They claim the government's actions that contribute to climate change have violated their generation's constitutional rights.

"We’re part of a movementpart of the environmental movement," plaintiff Kiran Oommen said. "We’re not going to save the earth. We’re doing our part to contribute to a much larger movement that includes Standing Rock, that includes BioBridge, that includes everyone, that includes this church community."

22-year-old Oommen was at the Medford Congregational United Church of Christ as a guest preacher. After the service, he spoke with community members about the high-profile case and answered their questions.

Oommen said the case has become much more than litigation.

"We see the importance in building a movement around the case, not just having it be a lawsuit," Oommen said. "Because it does sound far out. When we filed it, people thought we were crazy. But by building a movement, by getting the word out there, by talking to people, by organizing rallies at all of our hearings, that's been a really big part."

The plaintiffs are partnering with Our Children's Trust, a Eugene-based nonprofit with a focus on global human rights and environmental justice.

While the case was introduced three years ago, it has not gone to trial yet. Oommen said they are preparing for a pretrial hearing in San Francsico within the next couple months, and will hopefully set a trial date after then.

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