The Women's March Organizers Take on the NRA With a Two-Day March
“The Resistance,” as one New York activist put it, “is a bunch of Energizer bunny rock stars.”
They have to be. The week of July 10 alone included new Russia revelations, a relentless attack on the Affordable Care Act and threats to net neutrality. In the midst of this sustained insanity, on July 14-15, the organizers of the Women's March are taking on the National Rifle Association.
Linda Sarsour, Tamika Mallory and Carmen Perez have been fighting for gun control and against police violence for years, both separately and together. In 2015, after multiple grand juries failed to bring charges against the police officers who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City, they led a nine-day, 250-mile pilgrimage from New York City to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of key legislative reforms to address police violence.
The catalyst for the current action, a march from the NRA headquarters in Virginia to the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., was spurred by two events: the acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez, the police officer who killed Philando Castile; and an NRA video released on Facebook, which in addition to railing against the media, appears to incite NRA supporters to take up arms against progressive protesters. After Tamika Mallory wrote an open letter to the NRA asking to remove the video, it released a new video attacking Mallory and other progressive leaders personally.
On July 14, participants will gather at the NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia for a rally, after which they will depart for the 17-mile walk to the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C. The next day, they will assemble for a new action at the Department of Justice.
The organizers make three demands to the NRA on their website:
1. Take down the irresponsible and dangerous advertisement videos from all social platforms immediately.
2. Issue an apology to the American people for the video that appears to condone armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this administration's policies.
3. Make a statement to defend Philando Castile's Second Amendment right to own a firearm and demand the Department of Justice indict the police officer who killed him for exercising his Second Amendment right and his privilege as a licensed concealed carry permit holder.
“We know that we are not safe,” the open letter continues, “But we will not be intimidated into silence.”