On March 24, half a million people are expected to coalesce on the National Mall in Washington D.C. to rally against gun violence and mass shootings of the kind that recently took the lives of the teens at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
More than 70 sister marches have been organized across the country, including one in Philadelphia.
The Philly event is set to begin at 9 a.m. on that Saturday. Per the event on Facebook, which garnered more than a thousand RSVPs in its first 12 hours, details and logistics of where people should meet and what route the march will take are still being worked out.
A corresponding GoFundMe page for the Philly march had raised $4,000 toward a $50,000 goal as of Sunday night. Monies will be used to coordinate and host the event, per the site, with anything left over to be donated to the families of the Parkland victims.
It’s the surviving teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas who spurred the creation of the initial D.C. march, according to many reports, in response to the tragedy that saw a 19-year-old shooter gun down 17 of their peers and teachers on Valentine’s Day.
“We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises,” wrote 17-year-old Cameron Kasky, a junior at the Florida school, in an op-ed published by CNN. “And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now.”
Organizers of the Philly event, to whom Billy Penn reached out for comment, are embracing the mission statement put out by the students regarding the national rally, which kicks off at 10 a.m. on March 24.
“Not one more,” the statement reads, then continues:
“We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes. Our schools are unsafe. Our children and teachers are dying. We must make it our top priority to save these lives.”
The D.C. event has received financial support via its own GoFundMe page, including contributions from a variety of celebrities and companies, like Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Gucci, which pledged $500,000 toward the anti gun violence protest.
There is also an Eventbrite page to “register” for the Philly march.