Sunday, March 25, 2018

“Am I Next?” ask students marching for their lives.

Young people and elders on hand to speak out for a better world. 

It was a majestic spring day.   We left Brooklyn around 1115 AM for the big march, a buddy from years of protests and my fifteen-year-old daughter, who had recently taken part in a student walk over gun control.  Over the last few weeks, students have organized to remind the world that it is their safety, their lives that are on the line, young people, facing police, vengeful angry lone shooters, etc.   Saturday, they were speaking up for their lives, reminding the world that they call bullshit on the NRA.  Arms are for hugs, their signs declared.  Schools are for learning, not shootouts.
  One asked, “Am I Next?”

The police were also there to block entrance into the permitted march. 

But it didn’t matter, hundreds of thousands of us were there.  I am not much for crowd counts. But enough of us were there to make it nearly impossible to enter the parade.  Entrances were clogged for blocks.
We ran into friends from years of these actions. 

Two women gave us signs with the names of two of the kids killed in Florida.  Emma Golnazles reminded of what they will not be able to do with their lives.  

So we marched all day long, trying to remind the world to listen to the kids.  Schools are places for learning, not for arms.

My friends from all over the city were there.

So we walked around New York all day long, enjoying the day and hoping for something better of this world.

As my friend Ed Wolf, from San Francisco put it:

"Day 500. Enough is Enough!

On the 500th day since Trump’s election, students led huge rallies for gun control across the United States. And though the NRA and the Republicans and Trump seem unstoppable at times, the voices of resistance continue to increase, growing in volume and numbers. We’re living through the Terrible Times and my challenge is to widen my focus, to see beyond fear and uncertainty, to bear witness to the movement that is all around me."

All week long supporters wrote, calling for people to turn out. 

Dear PSC member,

After the murder of 17 students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students nationwide have taken the lead in starting a mass campaign to demand legislation to protect us against the recurring nightmare of mass shootings, and everyday gun violence. It's a heartening moment! We stand with our brave students.

On Saturday, March 24, students and their supporters from all over the country will join the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. We encourage PSC members, if they can, to join this historic March. … PSC members can meet at the offices of the American Federation of Teachers, at 555 New Jersey Avenue. There will be snacks and boxed lunches for members attending the March. The March will take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 3rd and 12th street NW. For a map of the March and other relevant information, please visit: .

We call on our members who can't make it to D.C. to join the NYC March for Our Lives. It will take place on Saturday, Mar. 24 at 10 am. PSC members will meet at W. 74th St. and Central Park West at 10 amto march together.

Students have historically been at the forefront of social movements demanding justice. Let us follow their lead and make this campaign a success. See you at the March!

In solidarity,

Nivedita Majumdar
Secretary, Professional Staff Congress
Associate Professor of English, John Jay College
Ph. 212-354-1252

From Emma Einhorn, of MoveOn Civic Action.

Dear MoveOn member,
This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people, including MoveOn members all around the country, will take to the streets to support the students and teachers from across the United States who are leading in this historic moment to confront gun violence.
In the five weeks since the Parkland shooting, even as hundreds of thousands of students have walked out of their classrooms, as gun violence has dominated the national political discourse, as major retailers have posed new restrictions on assault weapons, and even as the state of the Florida passed measures opposed by the NRA, Congress has done nothing—and young people across the country continue to fall victim to gun violence.
An average of 96 gun deaths occur every day.1 Since the Parkland massacre, there have been nine more school shootings.2 So why won't Republicans in Congress take action?
That's the question we're asking on billboards, on banners that will be flown from airplanes above marches, and on this sign that you can print—and bring to the march or hang in your window.
Gun violence won’t be solved with just one piece of legislation. That's why MoveOn members have been pushing for federal and state actions, as well as pressuring corporations. Powered by members like you, MoveOn has granted $100,000 to organizations led by people of color that are deeply invested in combating gun violence in communities across the country. And MoveOn will continue to work to break the NRA's stranglehold on Congress—and hold accountable the Republican politicians who choose to protect gun lobbyists rather than our kids.
Enough. On Saturday, go to a local March for Our Lives, be sure to bring a sign that you can print from here, and stand with young people demanding gun violence reforms.
Thanks for all you do.
–Emma, Michael, Jo, Seth, and the rest of the team
1. "Gun Violence by the Numbers," Everytown for Gun Safety, accessed March 9, 2018
2. "There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year," CNN, March 22, 2018

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