I can’t get to Washington for the march there, but i’m going to SF. I want to meet people and hear their personal stories, especially students in school.
I spoke to @Jaleelking on the phone. He lives in Philadelphia but he’s taking a train to Washington to join the march in his wheelchair. He's a victim of gun violence and it inspires me to see him go on to be a successful wedding photographer despite taking all his photos from his wheelchair. And I'm simply amazed by the Parkland students.
I am going to the Portland march! I have tried to organize a group to go from my community — we’ll see how many I got, particularly if it rains hard. (My blog post about making rainproof protest signs is getting loads of hits, so I think a lot of marchers won’t be deterred by weather!)
I have also been so impressed with the Parkland kids: with their smarts, drive, and compassion. They’ve also been lifting up voices of other student activists against gun violence, including black and indigenous students, which is so important since violence, like everything else, is shaped by institutional oppression. I’m so amazed by the activists from this generation. I hope tomorrow we’ll see a lot of people from many generations in the March!
The Portland march was very well attended: by the time we arrived at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 'Portland's living room', it was clear we would NOT all fit in there. The Oregonian says we had about 12,000. I saw one counterprotester and one person whose for/against status was a little confusing (I think his sign was meant to reassure gun control advocates that the world would soon end so we shouldn't worry about it?) Everyone else I saw and heard, including a strong veterans' contingent, was there to call for gun control.
Here is a picture from the Oregonian, credit Mark Graves, of the Square full with the march still arriving (between the pillars and Nordstrom is the street we were marching up -- still full!)
Just wanted to add: one thing I noticed while I was on my way to the meeting point with others was that a lot of the adults, especially those without kids, were teachers. I saw their bumper stickers as we parked, heard them chatting about their classes as we walked, and read their signs. There is real dismay among teachers that they can't keep their students safe -- from targeted violence as well as spree shooters -- and that their students have to try to learn in this environment. A huge number of teachers in the Portland area turned up to support their students and to say, via signs, that they don't have any interest in being armed.
I found this deeply researched article in the Washington Post, about all the kinds of violence in schools, not just mass shooters, really useful. It has numbers and stories, about how kids are affected by violence to OR around them, and about school resource officers too. It's a bigger problem than just mass shootings.
That Washington Post article was eye-opening. I heard the reporters being interviewed on NPR as I drove away from the march and I haven't been able to forget some of the things they said, how often the shooter was a student, etc.