Protest is an integral part of American history. When marginalized populations need change, they take to the streets to demand it.
Last week, students from Parkland, Florida organized The March for Our Lives, a worldwide protest demanding immediate action on gun violence prevention. Planned less than two months after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the March was impressive for a number of reasons, including the size of the crowds (making it the largest single-day demonstration in American history). However, perhaps the most impressive thing was the inclusivity of its leaders. In addition to students from MSD, many other young activists of color spoke about how gun violence has impacted their lives and communities for years. Residents of Baltimore, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and other cities frequently deal with the tragedy of gun violence, yet rarely make the headlines in the way the Parkland massacre did. These young activists from already-disenfranchised populations highlighted this reality, and made inspiring arguments for change.
As poet and activist Audre Lorde one said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives. Malcolm knew this. Martin Luther King, Jr. knew this. Our struggles are particular, but we are not alone.” Including the experiences of marginalized populations proves that the platform of the March for Our Lives, if realized, would benefit our entire country, not just a select few.
Winning Connections has advocated for gun violence prevention alongside our partners Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for years. As this movement continues to gain momentum, we hope to assist in electing and uplifting as many gun control advocates as possible.