- Washington Post; ABC News). The President was brilliant at the State of the Union address and included gun violence reduction among his priorities. He was emotional and moving in his drive to motivate legislators. Many survivors of gun violence were in attendance (read more:
- More meetings and conversations on the Hill.
- Our friends who marched with us from Newtown have formed an advocacy organization called Newtown Action Alliance.
In the past few weeks we’ve also received queries from many people who would like to organize their own marches for gun control, seeking our advice. We’re happy to share our project report with anyone who requests it, but here are some of the lessons that we learned from the March that might be useful:
- You will experience obstacles and resistors. Stay true to your mission, stay committed and stay optimistic.
- We don’t believe there is a template for how to create a March. Be sure to get your permits and start working on insurance early. But our success was because it was a completely grass-roots effort, and so the work, the inspiration, and the shape of the March needs to come from each organizing group organically. We were able to organize, fundraise and create the March in one wild and crazy month.
- We were fortunate to have an amazing group of volunteers staffing media relations and they made sure our March received tremendous pre-event and day-of press. We were covered in over 620 media outlets!
- We viewed this March as a large-scale, site-specific, one-day-only production and took careful consideration of the optics. The March itself was a silent March with participants holding placards bearing 1000 names of individuals whose lives were lost from gun violence. Music and theater played an important role in the rally and be sure your speakers are inspirational. Our were from the worlds of politics, activists, artists and organizers.
- Working independent of any organization allowed us to achieve goals quickly as there was neither bureaucracy nor red tape to cut through.
As we wrote after the March, we will memorialize our Facebook and other online pages at the end of February. Our intention was never to create another organization; rather we hope to transition your involvement to other organizations.
This is a real honest to god movement in cities all over the country—it’s moved from a wave to a tsunami.