Following is the New Yorker editor David Remnick’s introduction to several essays on America’s teenage activists (via “The Sunday” email).
Yesterday, thousands of American teen-agers marched on Washington to protest gun violence in their schools. This was more than inspiring—it was a bracing reminder to the rest of us that the course of events is in our hands, and that apathy is a choice. This week, we’re bringing you portraits of young people who are determined to shift the status quo. Reporting from Parkland, Florida, Emily Witt meets the students who are starting the Never Again movement. Michelle Nijhuis introduces us to the California teen-agers who are suing the government over climate change. Alex Carp attends Occupy Summer School; Betsy Morais meets Zoe Markowitz, the youngest-ever member of the Upper East Side’s Community Board 8; and Laura Parker drops in on the campaign of Tahseen Chowdhury, a high-school student running, as a progressive candidate, for the New York State Senate. Finally, in a piece from 1965, Renata Adler offers an overview of the Vietnam era’s student protest movements—for free speech, for civil rights, and for peace. Then, as now, young people were pushing society forward.
Find those essays and more on the march at the New Yorker we site.
Here at home, Hundreds in Sahuarita join national gun violence protest reports Dan Shearer at the GV News.
More than 400 people — toddlers, teenagers, Green Valley seniors, moms and dads — crowded along the road in front of Sahuarita High School on Saturday morning to protest gun violence and mass shootings. They were joined by hundreds of thousands of others in an estimated 800 marches across the world, including at least 13 in Arizona.
Saturday’s event in Washington was organized by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people, mostly teenagers, died in a shooting Feb. 14. Six members of Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita flew to Washington, D.C., to join them — four teenagers, Assistant Minister Nathan Watts and an adult church member.
Milo Rushford, a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Great Expectations Academy on Sahuarita, carried a sign that said, “School zones shouldn’t be war zones.”
“Why haven’t we done anything about it when every other country has solved this problem,” he asked.
His sister, Kelly, a 16-year-old student at Walden Grove High School, said, “I believe schools should be a safe place.”
The protest was organized by alliance4action, a Green Valley activist group that set out to support student protesters.
But it was not only teenagers protesting the availability of assault rifles.
Roger Brink, a Vietnam veteran from Green Valley who served in Army Special Forces, said assault-style weapons have no place on the street.
“I’ve seen what they can do,” he said. “I believe in the Second Amendment but I don’t believe we need access to an AR–15.”
Scriber’s answer to the questions raised by marchers is predictable from my previous posts on gun violence: your lives are expendable. The de facto policy of America is to accept deaths of school children as the price to be paid for unlimited access to assault weapons. Conduct your own analysis of whatever is said by politicians and the gun lobby about second amendment rights. You will discover that all the “thoughts and prayers” boil down to that one policy. Take it to the streets and do not give up - ever. And then as soon as you are able, vote the defenders of that policy out of office. And for starters, ask where Congress and the President were during your march yesterday.