You may or may not have heard about the #NRA2DOJ Women’s March to take place this weekend in Virginia. Here are some facts about it:
The Women’s March in Washington D.C. happened the day after President Trump’s inauguration and inspired sister marches around the world. The march was organized around Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles of non-violent civil protests. If you attended the march, or saw pictures from it, you viewed millions of women, men and children peacefully marching and holding up signs that promoted unity.
Part of this unity includes standing up for principles progressives believe in, including racial equality.
On July 6, 2016, Philando Castile, an African American school employee, was pulled over by police officer Jeronimo Yanez in Minnesota for a routine traffic stop. When Castile mentioned to the police officer that he had a gun in the car (which he had a permitted license to carry) he was shot, even though he was following Yanez’s instructions to show his driver’s license. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter were in the car with him to him. Reynolds live-streamed the aftermath on Facebook, as Philando moaned next to her. He died 20 minutes later in the hospital. (Officer Yanez was since acquitted of all charges.)
The NRA (National Rifle Association) is usually very vocal about the right to bear arms, their stated mission. But in this particular instance, when a black man with a gun permit was shot by a police officer, they said absolutely nothing in his defense.
The Women’s March called the NRA to take action on this point. Soon after, the NRA posted a right-wing activist ad that promotes an “us vs. them” scenario implying that progressives marching for civil rights are violent and a threat. You can see the ad here:
“In response, Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory penned an open letter to the NRA calling for the ad to be removed and an apology to be issued to the American public for the false and inflammatory rhetoric. Instead of distancing themselves from the vitriol, the NRA responded by releasing a new video attacking Tamika and other leaders personally and doubling down on the implied call to arms. This is the kind of incendiary speech that leads to acts of hate and violence, and it is unequivocally meant to create a chilling effect on communities speaking up and using the power of our collective voice.” (Letter from the Women’s March).
After that, the Women’s March decided to organize a peaceful protest to demonstrate the following things:
“On July 14th & 15th, Women’s March and partners will mobilize a mass demonstration, again grounded in the principles of Kingman nonviolence, to denounce the false and intimidating rhetoric of hatred and send a clear message that our movement will proudly and bravely continue to strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people.”
Here are the details of the #NRA2DOJ March:
For more details you can go directly to their website here: WomensMarch.