Ever since the deadly mass school shooting that befell Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this past Valentine’s Day, students have been organizing their efforts to fight for increased gun control measures. The survivors have organized several demonstrations including a nationwide school walkout on March 14, a month after the tragedy. However, their biggest event yet will be held on March 24 as the survivors and their staunch supporters plan to march on Washington as a part of the bipartisan March for Our Lives. If you are unable to make it to D.C. but still want to show your support there are currently 763 sister marches worldwide as listed on their official website. Finding a march near you is as simple as entering your city on their website.
Are you passionate about gun control and want to see a real change made to protect America’s students and citizens? Understandably, you might also be scared or unsure how to participate in a protest. This article is here to help you figure it out. Protests can seem intimidating and trying something new can be scary, especially if that something is shamelessly voicing your political views along with several hundred or thousand other people in the street. If peaceful protest is a right you are looking to exercise but are unsure how to get started here are a few tips to aid your dissent.
1. Don’t go alone.
Just like any other activity, there is strength in numbers and everything is better with a friend. Making sure you have someone there that you trust and shares the same views will make both of you feel more comfortable and less like fish out of water. If you don’t have any friends in your immediate circle who are passionate about the issue check out the Facebook page for your local march and try to connect with someone. You already have one thing in common! Organizers for the march may also be of help if you want to further volunteer and find people that way. Also, make a plan with whomever you march with to have a place to meet up or where to find one another if you get separated.
Courtesy: Alan Alvarez
2. Bring the proper gear.
Amidst all the commotion of planning and the stress of going to the protest, you might forget about the actual activity of the demonstration, which is marching. That means you will be outside for at least a few hours. You should check the forecast in advance to see what kind of temperature and weather you might be in for. In accordance with the forecast, you should bring the proper items. Some smart things to bring might be sunblock, a rain poncho, a hat and comfortable shoes. Throwing some snacks in your bag also couldn’t hurt and might even help you make friends around you. Most importantly, bring a bottle of water!
3. Plan for the aftermath.
After a protest or demonstration, a city can be in a state of somewhat disarray. Roads and other areas may be blocked off, swarms of people will be heading in different directions and it is easy to feel overwhelmed if you don’t have a plan. Before you go to the march make sure you have a safe way to get back home. If you are driving make sure you park your car in a safe place that you know how to get back to. Drop a pin on your phone where you parked if you have to. If someone is picking you up from the march make sure you have a pre-planned pickup spot that is far enough away from the march’s main route to avoid road closures. The spot should be in a public area that you can feel safe waiting at until your ride makes it to you.
Hopefully following these tips will help facilitate your support of the movement and make the experience less daunting and more liberating. If you are looking to get involved here are some helpful links that’ll give you more information about how to get involved:
March for Our Lives website – Check out the official website for the march for information on the march’s mission and sibling marches across the globe.
Tallahassee March for Our Lives Facebook Group – RSVP to the march and make yourself familiar with the meeting place, route and time.