Getting to Know Seattle: The March

Seattle is a progressive city, and Seattle-ites show up big for things like Saturday’s march. My entire family went — Matt, Amy, the kids, Sara, Ben — and I met up with them along the route, by happenstance actually. I hadn’t intended to march, but was crossing 4th when they came by. I took the kids’ hands and walked with them for a few blocks.

I think it’s incredibly important for Archie and Else to be part of this march, and to know why they are marching, and to see the solid wall of people marching with them. As Ben observed, there is one more piece here: that everyone eligible to vote follow up the march by actually registering to vote, and voting.

As I wrote on a blog post a few weeks ago, it makes perfect sense to me that high school students are driving this activism against the NRA and gun manufacturers, who are the ones really represented by the NRA. This isn’t about Second Amendment rights — it’s about protecting the right to sell more guns, plain and simple. A small percentage of the American population are gun owners, but fueled by a flood of money from gun manufacturers and a lot of fear, they exert disproportionate power in Congress. High school students are old enough to march, unlike children the ages of those killed at Sandy Hook, and high school students have been visibly and directly affected by school massacres. By the same logic, college students drove the protests against the Viet Nam war. They were the ones being drafted, sent to Viet Nam, and killed.

I’ve read pundits who assert that we are engaged in a “cold civil war”, between contrasting visions of what America is going to be. I think that’s true. An emboldened NRA is not my vision of America. Nor is the empty macho Trump-Bolton-Pompeo posturing. I eagerly await November 2018, and the presidential election two years beyond. Maybe it had to get this bad in order for reasonable people to be moved to defend democratic values. But it doesn’t have to stay this bad.

As long as good people vote.

2 thoughts on “Getting to Know Seattle: The March

  1. I went to the march here in Rochester. I was blown away by the poignant, courageous, and articulate speeches by 13 to 17 year olds. The high school senior who organized it made sure to be inclusive of LGBTQ, African-American, Latinx, immigrant, inner-city, suburban, and rural communities, well represented by both male and female speakers. Activism is back in this generation. A 13 year old sang his own anti-violence version of Cohen’s Hallelulah, an African- American youth spoke of the pain of his brother being gunned down in the hallway of a hotel, a young woman from Geneseo acknowledged her gun owning rural family and neighbors but advocated for strict gun control laws, all of these voices made a powerful statement. 5,000 people marched, quite a good turn out for Rochester. There was a lot of.. if you are 18, you must vote..if you are not, you must advocate.. messages. The phrase that stuck in my mind most was “Let this not be a moment, but a movement.”

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