Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington — the same group that donned pink “pussy” hats in a Washington, D.C., protest march following President Donald Trump’s inauguration — have a new mission.
This time, their target is guns — and their aim is stringent new gun control legislation in this country. The Women’s March Youth EMPOWER group is asking students, teachers, parents, administrators, and “allies” to walk out of school on Wednesday, March 14.
“We need action,” the group said on a Facebook page that is promoting the event. “Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets, and in our homes and places of worship.”
The event showed up yesterday on the Women’s March Facebook page, two days after the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In less than 24 hours, the event garnered nearly 21,000 shares.
The event is being tagged with both #Enough and #NationalSchoolWalkout on social media sites. It is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. across all time zones. It is to last for 17 minutes — one minute for every life lost in the shooting that took place this past Wednesday. Suspect and former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, is in police custody and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.
The group also said, “We are not safe at school. We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence.”
Organizers directed anyone interested to register their intentions to participate on a map on an ActionNetwork webpage. As of Saturday morning, hosts had marked active locations from coast to coast, with the heaviest concentrations in the northeast and southeast.
On the “host guidelines” for the ENOUGH National School Walkout, organizers — who note that they will be adding a “toolkit” in the next few days to aid in planning — are telling students to “walk outside of their school or walk out the classroom into a hallway” during the 17-minute protest.
They also provided other protest-related suggestions for the action, including wearing all orange. The organizers’ “host guidelines” declared that orange is the color of the movement — and that participants should don the color that day in solidarity.
Among the group’s demands are these:
- ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
- expand background checks to all gun sales;
- pass federal gun violence restraining order law;
- fund government research on gun violence; and
- promote safe storage
The Women’s March-promoted school walkout is not the only proposed event involving students leaving school to engage in political protesting.
Another, which uses the hashtag #NationalWalkout, is planned for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, which occurred in 1999 in Colorado. Two teens killed 13 people on that day and injured more than 20 others — then committed suicide.
Per their change.org petition, which has garnered nearly 9,000 signatures so far, the @NationalWalkoutUS group is organized by Lane Murdock of Danbury, Connecticut.
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Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and regular contributor to LifeZette.