The Women's March announced on Saturday that they would be organizing a school walk out in protest of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
As part of an initiative they're calling the Women's March Youth EMPOWER, the liberal protest group is calling on "students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies" to protest for new gun-control laws at 10 a.m. on March 14, 2018. The group said the walk out is to "protest Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods." They are hoping for people from schools around the country to join the walk out across time zones for exactly 17 minutes because the shooting left 17 people dead.
"We need action," the group said in a statement on its website. "Students and allies are organizing the national school walkout to demand Congress pass legislation to keep us safe from gun violence at our schools, on our streets and in our homes and places of worship."
This is the first major gun-control march the Women's March has organized since last summer, when it led a march from the National Rifle Association's headquarters in Virginia to the Justice Department in Washington, D.C. That march, which complained about NRA rhetoric the group viewed as violent, was undermined by a series of tweets praising cop-killer and fugitive from justice Assata Shakur. The Women's March doubled down on their praise of Shakur even after facing a backlash for their stance.
The walk out is one of several gun-control protests planned in the coming weeks and one of the only ones that encourages students to leave school during class as a part of their political activism. The group said the protest is necessary to push Congress to pass new gun-control laws.
"We are not safe at school," the group said on its website. "We are not safe in our cities and towns. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. We want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of us will vote this November and many others will join in 2020."