Human Interest 5 Climate Activists Are Now Using Wheelchairs a Week Into Hunger Strike Outside White House A group of climate activists has gone without food for more than a week to compel the U.S. government to take bold action on environmental issues By Jason Hahn Jason Hahn Jason Hahn is a Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter since 2017 and has interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on October 27, 2021 04:15 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Matthew Rodier/Sipa via AP A group of activists is putting their safety on the line to get President Joe Biden to aggressively address the climate crisis. According to CNN, the group has held a hunger strike outside of the White House since Oct. 20 to get meaningful climate change provisions added to the president's economic package, which Congress has been negotiating. "I'm seven days into the hunger strike and my body hurts, my stomach honestly feels vacuous, my body feels vacuous, and I have a headache that won't go away," 26-year-old Kidus Girma told CNN. "We're at the point where our muscles are being eaten up by our bodies." "I'm waiting for my president to start fighting for me," he added. "I'm waiting for Joe Biden to start fighting for the people who elected him." Girma told the outlet he was sent to the emergency room on Saturday after he experienced nausea, dizziness and blurred vision during the strike, but returned the next day. There Is 'No Doubt' Humans Are Causing Climate Change, Scientists Say in New Report L: Caption . PHOTO: Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto via AP R: Caption . PHOTO: Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto via AP Alongside Girma are fellow strikers Paul Campion, Ema Govea, Julia Paramo and Abby Leedy, who are from the environmental advocacy group Sunrise Movement. As they grow weak, the strikers have been sitting in wheelchairs to help them during the protest. "The stakes of this moment are greater than their own lives: the United States is at a crossroad on climate, and our country has a choice between mass human suffering or mass human survival," the organization said on its website. "Hunger strikes and fasting are tactics that have been used by social movements throughout history to draw attention to certain issues, underscore the moral authority of participants and put pressure on key targets." Humanity Is at 'Code Red,' Warns New Climate Change Report from United Nations: 'Reality Check' "We hope that these activists' hunger strike can appeal to Joe Biden, bring more people into our broader movement and emphasize what is at stake — future life on this planet — in this bill," they continued. RELATED VIDEO: How One California Teenager Is Saving Unwanted Fruit & Filling Food Pantries Biden has said his $3.5 trillion agenda, which includes measures to combat climate change, would likely have to be downsized after it was met with criticism from some Democrats, including Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The president initially proposed a plan to reward power providers that use clean energy and penalize ones that do not. Members of the Biden Administration met with the leaders of nearly a dozen environmental and justice groups earlier this week. "Hunger symbolizes what we're starving for — what we deeply need in this moment," Girma told CNN. "And it also shows the possible future that Biden is making really possible if he doesn't start fighting for us."