Hundreds of activists gathered in the hallways of the Hilton Union Square hotel in San Francisco on Friday, where the Democratic National Committee is holding its summer meetings, to demand the Democrats hold a debate focusing on climate change.

The protesters hugged the walls so they would not be removed from the hotel floor, where 13 Democratic candidates for president were expected to speak on Friday.

One protester named Sally spoke to the group, saying that her 3-year-old nephew was asking her questions about the environment. She said when he asks, “what did you do when you heard what was happening to the Earth?” she wanted to have an answer.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, a candidate for president, addressed the group at about noon.

“The future of manufacturing is directly connected to a green economy,” Ryan said.

He said that he wanted more electric vehicles, charging stations and batteries to be made in the U.S.

“I want to dominate the solar industry in the U.S. and put people back to work,” he said.

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