One of the local organizers tells 50 States how he got involved with Saturday’s event.
The first-ever March For Our Lives is set for this Saturday in Washington, with the Parkland survivors leading what has become a national movement for more sensible gun laws. Meanwhile, satellite marches will be taking place throughout the country, including multiple locations in Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia march, also scheduled for Saturday morning, will lead into a rally featuring several major speakers, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Columbine survivor Jami Amo, and the father of a Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivor.
The march has a trio of student organizers: Ethan Block, a high school student from New Jersey, Andrew Binder, a high schooler from Pennsylvania and Jana Korn, who attends college at the University of Pennsylvania.
50 States of Blue spoke with Block, a high school sophomore who was motivated to get involved in politics by the election of Donald Trump. And the Parkland massacre inspired him to get involved with this specific use.
“I saw what the Parkland survivors were doing,” the 16-year-old Block said, “and they when announced the March for Our Lives in DC, I knew this had to happen everywhere.” Some Facebook searching brought him into contact with some of the other organizers including Romaine Wright, a Philadelphia-based consultant who is the event’s main adult organizer.
The march, Block said, isn’t about specific policy proposals, but rather showing support for the Washington march and showing that people want change.
“Awareness is the key to this march — we want to show that there are a lot of people out there who support sensible gun reform,” Block said. “And we want to advocate for the safety of everyone. This shouldn’t be a political issue at all — this is first and foremost about safety for everyone in every community.”
Several other “sibling” marches are scheduled for Pennsylvania on Saturday, including in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Reading and various suburban locations throughout the state.