“MARCH FOR OUR LIVES”

Students and their supporters will come together at tomorrow’s “March For Our Lives” rallies in Washington, DC and across the country, demanding “that their lives and safety become a priority and that we end gun violence and mass shootings in our schools today.” One of the movement’s organizers is here.

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Aired on March 23, 2018. 

TRANSCRIPT

> TOMORROW A MARCH WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE CAPITOL AND IN CITIES ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

STUDENTS ARE REACTING TO THE TRAGEDY AND IN MEMORY OF THE 17 WHO WERE MURDERED IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA.

THEIR GOAL, FIGHT BACK AND ENACT COMMON SENSE GUN SAFETY LAWS.

JACK DOHERTY, A STUDENT FROM HIGH SCHOOL NORTH IN NEW JERSEY AND WILL BE MARCHING IN THE PROTESTS LOCALLY AND IS HERE TO TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE DETAILS.

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THESE MARCHES?

THE MARCHES ARE TO SHOW THE COUNTRY THAT STUDENTS ALL OVER THE NATION ARE MARCHING AND SPEAKING OUT, BUT THEY'RE NOT SILENT ON THE ISSUE.

IT'S REALLY TO SHOW THAT STUDENTS WANT AN END TO SCHOOL SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA.

AS I MENTIONED IN THE BEGINNING, STUDENTS WILL BE MARCHING ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

AND YOU'RE PARTICIPATING IN A MARCH THAT'S CENTERED IN NEWARK, NEW JERSEY.

WHY NEWARK?

I THINK WHEN THE STUDENTS ORGANIZERS WERE TALKING ABOUT WHERE TO MARCH IN NEW JERSEY, NEWARK IS A CITY THAT'S BEEN PLAGUED BY GUN VIOLENCE, PARTICULARLY FOR THEIR STUDENT.

THEY HAVE HAD GUN VIOLENCE.

EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT A MASS SHOOTING, THEY'RE STILL LOSING A LOT OF KIDS TO GUN VIOLENCE.

WHAT ARE YOU SEEING FROM THE PEOPLE IN NEWARK ITSELF?

IT'S BEEN PHENOMENAL, THE MAYOR, THE LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS, HAVE BEEN HELPING TO ORGANIZE THE MARCH, WHICH IS COMPOSED OF STUDENTS ACROSS THE STATE.

NEWARK IS A GREAT CITY FOR THIS MARCH, WORKING TOGETHER WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, TO ALLOW THIS ALL TO FUNCTION REALLY WELL.

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THIS MARCH IN TERMS OF HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SHOW UP AND WHAT WILL COME FROM IT?

I ALWAYS SAY SHOWING UP IS HALF THE BATTLE.

SO AS MANY PEOPLE CAN SHOW UP, THE MORE PEOPLE THE BETTER.

AS LONG AS THERE'S A GOOD SHOWING, THAT SHOWS HOW MANY PEOPLE CARE.

IN NEW JERSEY, WE'RE LOOKED AT AS A STATE THAT ALREADY HAS TOUGH GUN LAWS.

SO WHY GO OUT AND MARCH?

SO THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR STUDENTS TO SPEAK OUT FOR OTHER STATES THAT DON'T HAVE LAWS LIKE US.

YOU HAVE BECOME VERY ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THIS, YOU'VE BECOME ONE OF THE LEADERS AND THE ORGANIZERS CERTAINLY IN YOUR OWN HIGH SCHOOL IN NEW JERSEY AND INVOLVED NATIONALLY.

ARE YOU SURPRISED AT THE REACTION THAT YOU HAVE SEEN, NOT JUST THAT YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED YOURSELF, BUT THAT YOU HAVE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY, FROM YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE YOURSELF?

I THINK TO SEE HOW QUICK IT HAPPENED, HOW THIS MOVEMENT HAS JUST EXPLODED.

AND I THINK YOU LOOK AT SOCIAL MEDIA, I THINK IT'S NO SURPRISE TO SEE HOW MANY STUDENTS JUST LIKE THAT ARE GETTING INVOLVED AND REALLY TAKING THIS TO HEART.

WE HAD THE WALKOUT, THE NATIONAL WALKOUT BY STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, TELL ME HOW IT PLAYED OUT IN YOUR SCHOOL?

ABOUT TWO WITDAYS BEFORE THE WALKOUT, WE HAD A STUDENT POST ON INSTAGRAM WITH A GUN AND MAKING A THREATENING REMARK, SO FOR SAFETY REASONS, WE THOUGHT WE SHOULD STEP BACK AND NOT WALK OUT.

BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE CAN'T REPRESENT THE MOVEMENT.

TO INSTEAD OF WALKING OUT, WE HAD ASSEMBLIES, WHERE STUDENTS GOT TO REPRESENT THEIR OPINIONS AND BE ABLE TO TALK ABOUT HOW THEY FEEL ON THE ISSUE.

DID YOU HAVE A LARGE PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS PARTICIPATING HERE?

YEAH I WOULD SAY ABOUT THREE-QUARTERS OF THE SCHOOL SHOWED UP IN MY SCHOOL, AT THE ASSEMBLY.

WHEN WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE TAKING A LOOK AT THIS MOVEMENT, ESPECIALLY HISTORIANS WHO HAVE LOOKED BACK ON SIMILAR MOVEMENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN DRIVEN BY YOUNG PEOPLE AND THEY HAVE OFTEN SAID, THIS IS SIGNIFICANT, IT'S IMPORTANT, BUT THERE HAS TO BE SOME FOLLOWTHROUGH, AND ONE OF THE FOLLOWTHROUGHS YOU OFTEN HEAR PEOPLE SAY, IS VOTING, YOUNG PEOPLE NOT JUST REGISTERING TO VOTE, BUT ACTUALLY SHOWING UP AND CASTING A BALLOT.

ARE YOU HAVING CONVERSATIONS -- YOU'RE JUST A JUNIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL, SO YOU'RE A COUPLE YEARS AWAY.

ARE YOU HAVING THESE CONVERSATIONS SO THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE PARTICIPATING WILL UNDERSTAND, IT'S WONDERFUL TO BE DOING THIS, AND IT'S SIGNIFICANT AND IT'S COMPELLING AND IT'S IMPORTANT, BUT THERE HAS TO BE FOLLOWTHROUGH AFTERWARDS?

DEFINITELY.

THE BIG THING WE HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PUT AN EMPHASIS ON, ALTHOUGH WALKOUTS AND PROTESTS AND SIT INS ARE A POWERFUL COMPONENT OF DEMOCRACY, THE MOST POWERFUL TOOL IS TO VOTE, TRY TO HAVE STUDENTS REGISTER AND LEARN WHERE THEIR VOTING LOCATIONS ARE.

AND BY CARRYING THROUGH, YES, WE CAN MARCH IN THE STREETS, BUT IF WE DON'T GO TO THE BALLOT BOX AND MAKE A CHANGE, NOTHING WILL HAPPEN.

YOU KNOW THERE ARE STUDENTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHO SAY, I WANT TO BE A PART OF THIS.

STUDENTS IN NEWARK, ARE ASKING HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE IN THIS?

I THINK OUR BIGGEST ASSET RIGHT NOW IS INSTAGRAM, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, ONLINE WEBSITES AND SEARCH IN MARCH FOR OUR LIVES AND IT WILL THESE DESIGNATE WHER NEAREST MARCH IS, NOT JUST IN BIG CITIES, BUT YOU CAN CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND BE PART OF OUR MOVEMENT.

YOU HAVE BEEN DOING SUCH MARVELOUS WORK HERE IN DRIVING THIS MOVEMENT AND MAKING SURE YOU'RE VOICES ARE HEARD.

WE'LL LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO YOU SOME MORE AS THIS MOVEMENT CONTINUES.

YOU BE WELL.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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