marching for their lives: the student activism around gun violence gives us reason to hope

In my continuing (and usually failing) goal of remembering to write about things here, instead of just posting to Facebook, I feel I should write something about the student organizing and activism around gun violence in the US.

This movement is the greatest thing to happen in the US in as long as I can remember. It stands with the Fight for 15 and Black Lives Matter as the most important movements of our present time.

It has all the hallmarks of a true grassroots revolution.

- It is self-organized.

- Its spokespeople emerged organically.

- It built quickly, because it has tapped into longstanding anger, and it resonates both deeply and broadly.

- It is building on a local level to effect broad social change.

- It is being organized from the bottom up, as opposed to, for example, the organizing around the election of Barack Obama.

- It is using a variety of tools, and it appears to be fluid and agile around using different approaches as needed: walk-outs, public speaking, mainstream media engagement, social media, large-scale public demonstrations, letter writing, lobbying.

And perhaps most significantly, it is being built, grown, and led, by young people, the people most affected by gun violence. Students were on the cutting edge of the US civil rights movement in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Students provided the groundswell that ended the US war in Vietnam. Students led the anti-South African apartheid movement in the 1980s. We have reason to hope.

All power to these courageous, articulate, determined, beautiful young people. Let's support them in any way we can.

Emma Gonzalez, age 17

Naomi Wadler, age 11

Trevon Bosley, age 19, reminds us that gun violence is not only mass shootings.
For many, it is everyday life.

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