As hundreds of thousands of people are expected to gather in Washington D.C. for the national March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24 — with many others travelling to regional marches in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia —all eyes locally will be on Sag Harbor where a peaceful rally is planned in protest against gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida that claimed the lives of 16 high schools students and a teacher.
Organized by Pierson senior Sinéad Murray and Sag Harbor resident Denise O’Malley, the march will begin on Long Wharf at the John A. Ward Memorial Windmill at 11 a.m. Similar to the Women’s March that was held in Sag Harbor on January 20, marchers will walk around Main Street before returning to Long Wharf, but prior to the march Ms. Murray said there would be a peaceful protest featuring herself and others sharing their thoughts about gun violence and gun control.
“As a student, I want to be safe in school,” Ms. Murray, 18, said on Tuesday. “I also want to be safe in college. I do not want to go to school thinking, ‘Today could be the day my friends and I could be shot.’ Every day that passes without stricter gun legislation being passed puts us more and more at risk of tragedy. This isn’t an inner-city problem, it’s not a rural problem, it’s not a suburban problem. Until our legislators take action, it is simply a matter of time before a family member, friend, friend’s friend, loved one, teacher, or your own self is killed, injured or affected by gun violence in our schools. This march isn’t about taking away your precious guns. It’s about protecting lives.”
The national March for Our Lives was organized by student survivors of the Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, David Hogg and Emma González, whose speech calling for gun control, captured days after the February 14 shooting, went viral and inspired student-led activism across the country including school walkouts on March 14. Ms. Murray said she also was inspired by Ms. González and her classmates and the national movement they have created centered around youth.
“The idea that the new generation is leading the movement toward stronger gun control laws is so incredibly important,” she said. “I definitely think the waves these students are making are what is waking this country, or the majority, hopefully, up. The power lies in those who will have a voice and I believe kids are discovering their voices more and more each day.”
Ms. Murray, whose “10 Things Young Feminists Should Know” drew cheers at the Women’s March in January, plans on studying political science with a minor in women’s and gender studies in college. She will speak Saturday, along with a few others still yet to be finalized, she said. “I am very excited,” she said. “After I spoke at the Women’s March in January I have kind of caught the public speaking bug.”