National School Walk Out & March For Our Lives Maintain Momentum!
“Welcome to the #PeoplesHouse, #NationalSchoolWalkout. #Brooklyn is proud as hell to be at the center of the fight against #gunviolence. Today is about the voices of our youth,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams posted on his Twitter page on March 14th.
This was the day of the National School Walkout, where many students across the country organized to walkout of their school for 17 minutes to honor the 17 students and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida who were killed on Valentine’s Day. The goal of the walkouts was to get the attention of Congress and sway them to pass legislation that keeps the public safe from gun violence.
There were students who decided to do their own spin on the walkout, especially in North Brooklyn. Many local students marched around their school’s neighborhood hoisting signs and raising their voices with rally cries, and stayed out longer than 17 minutes. Almost all of MS 50 (183 S 3rd St.) walked out. They marched to the Williamsburg Bridge and performed a rap, “We got bad gun laws, we got bad gun laws, we gotta change the gun laws. … There was a school shooting in Florida and I think it was bad. It was one of the worst ones we’ve ever had. Everytime I think about it I start getting mad.” One of their signs read, “We are the future of society. We have the right to live without fear.”
“These students’ determination & bold call 2 action is inspiring beyond words-they are the leaders who will hold us all accountable. We must answer their call,” stated Council Member Stephen Levin on Twitter.
The righteous anger and outrage that Washington hasn’t done more to protect students after 30 plus years of incremental school shootings looks to be a self-renewing fuel source to keep the fire for change burning. Two weeks after the National School Walkout, March for Our Lives brought out hundreds of thousands of all ages across the country to show just how many are very serious about obtaining better gun control laws. There was also a call to register to vote to add extra caution to any opposing gun reform that hold office and are up for re-election.
Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez has long been on the front lines of gun reform, and she participated in the NYC March for Our Lives. Velázquez made this statement shortly after the Parkland shooting, “The National Rifle Association has consistently given me an ‘F Rating’ on their voting scorecard – and I’ve never been more proud to earn the disapproval of an organization. While it is tragically too late for the victims of the Parkland shooting and far too many other school massacres, it is not too late for Congress to take action. Indeed, we have a moral obligation to do so, immediately.”
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney also marched in NYC and also is F rated by the NRA. “So inspiring to be part of NYC’s #MarchForOurLives. My #MondayMotivaton this week is to do all I can to listen to these students & implement the changes they are asking for in Congress,” she tweeted.
State Senator Brian Kavanagh was another local elected leader who marched in NYC. He tweeted, “Proud to join @AMarch4OurLives in NYC, with 1000s of students and others calling for strong gun laws that we know will save lives.”
The movement is still on the move. The Parkland students are calling for all members of Congress to hold a town hall on April 7th, and they are planning another school walkout on April 20th.