March for Our Lives

Some assorted notes about today’s March for Our Lives rally in San José:

  • Followup on my previous post: I was glad that the march started at 11:00 a.m. That gave me time to have a leisurely start to my day and still arrive before the march started.
  • When I first arrived, the crowd nearby was overwhelmingly white. At least 90% of the people I saw in that area, probably more, looked white to me. But that changed a lot as the march went on and I drifted into other parts of the crowd. I’m not sure why so many white people were hanging out in that one area when I arrived.
  • Ran into a couple of high school friends who I hadn’t seen in years; good to see you, Craig and Becky!
  • I think the crowd was substantially bigger than the last protest march I attended in San José, an anti-war rally in 2003 or so. I have no sense of how many people were there, but we filled the street for a stretch of at least several blocks, and filled most of the park space available for the rally at the end. Not huge by major-protest-city standards, but felt nicely big to me. I think I saw a prediction beforehand that about 10,000 people would be there, extrapolating from 3,000 who had signed up ahead of time.
  • There was light rain for much of the march and rally. (Dunno if that reduced turnout.) Most people had hoods and/or umbrellas.
  • The speakers were all good, but the two that impressed me most were a teacher, who gave a great energetic powerful emotional well-written speech, and the student who spoke at the very end of the rally. I didn’t catch either of their names.
  • Unfortunately, the rally was under the flight path for the San José airport; planes flew low overhead and drowned out the speakers every few minutes. (Which was also a little tense-making because on the way to the march, I had been listening to an NPR news story that prominently featured people in Yemen hearing a plane fly by overhead and then getting bombed.)
  • After the rally, I saw two students with a professional-looking video camera on a tripod. I asked if they had recorded the speakers; they said yes. I asked if the recordings would be available online; they said that they’re from the Homestead High School student news organization, and that they would post recordings on their YouTube channel, The Epitaph.

Some things that various speakers said (I didn’t record any of their names):

  • “It should not be easier to obtain military weapons than to obtain a driver’s license.” —12-year-old speaker
  • After mentioning one of the Parkland students, maybe Emma González: “I will say what that classy young woman would not: I call bullshit.” —older white male speaker (to be clear, he was calling bullshit on the NRA and such, not on Gonzalez)
  • “You are not just the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today.” —adult speaker

Some signs I saw:

  • “...the ‘Marco Rubio,’ because it’s so easy to buy. —@sarahchad”
  • “Like right to life, but outside my vagina.”
  • “Q: How many NRA spokespeople does it take to change a lightbulb? A: More guns.”
  • “Fire Trump, not guns.”
  • “Actually, guns do kill people.”
  • “I married a teacher, not a bodyguard.”
  • “#armmewith a glue gun.”
  • “And they would’ve gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
  • “Where are the ‘all lives matter’ people now?”
  • “No Responsibility Accepted.”
  • “#sayhisname #StephonClark”
  • “At school, an A+ should be a grade, not a blood type.”
  • “Books, not (high capacity) magazines.”
  • “Mental illness is global. Mass shootings are American.”
  • “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun lobby is 20 million 1st-time voters.

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