Add two town hall gatherings involving important Washington leaders to the list of actions, walkouts, protests, and marches planned this month as Seattle students and supporters speak out about gun violence and make calls for more to be done to reform gun control laws.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal will come to Garfield High for one gathering next Saturday while Governor Jay Inslee is scheduled to participate in a Wednesday night town hall at Seattle University organized by a local television station.
More immediate actions are slated to begin the morning of this Wednesday, March 14th to mark one month since the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida set off a national debate on doing more to control gun violence. Student and parent groups are planning walkouts Wednesday at schools across Capitol Hill, the Central District, the city, and the region in solidarity with the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
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Schools officials have been supportive of those planning to walk out or mark the day following the Seattle Public School Board’s resolution to support gun control efforts.
Of the two town halls planned next week, Jayapal’s seems to hit closest to the growing theme of the gun control movement that has developed following the Florida shooting as students have become the face of the effort. The Jayapal-hosted town hall at Garfield High next Saturday will feature the students of the Seattle March For Our Lives action, a protest march that is expected to draw thousands of young people and their supporters from across the state:
Inslee’s appearance comes as the West Coast governor has become increasingly active in his criticism of the Trump administration. The Wednesday night town hall at Seattle U is being hosted and broadcast by KIRO 7:
The town halls featuring Inslee and Jayapal follow another town hall gathering on gun violence hosted last week by Mayor Jenny Durkan.
All of the town halls and Wednesday’s planned walkouts are prelude to a march expected to again draw thousands to Cal Anderson, a popular starting point for protests in the first year of Trump’s term. CHS spoke with student organizer Rhiannon Rasaretnam about the March 24th March for Our Lives and how best to support students in the cause. “I feel like youth around the nation seeing that students can take the lead on this inspires them to increase their own role in their own community,” Rasaretnam told CHS.
In addition to showing solidarity with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, March 24th marchers will call on “state and national elected officials is to work towards firmer gun control measures that include banning assault rifles, banning bump stocks nationally, raising the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, ensuring school safety without use of firearms, and calling on members of Congress and corporations to stop accepting support from or providing support for the NRA,” a statement from the student coalition organizing the march reads.
Everytown, a nonprofit dedicated to gun control and addressing gun violence led by Michael Bloomberg, is also helping to organize the events.
UPDATE 3/12/2018: With Reel Grrls signed up to help as a fiscal sponsor, March for Our Lives Seattle organizers are working to raise $50,000 to put on the March 24th protest march. “We ask the community to help us raise the funds to pay for necessary expenditures such as permits, security, transportation for youth across the state, promotional materials, and to launch the #Raceto18 – a voter registration campaign for teens across America,” the group writes. You can give here. They’re currently at 30% of the $50,000 goal.