Vermonters, Here's What Is Planned For Saturday's 'March For Our Lives'
The "March For Our Lives" will take place on Saturday, March 24, with a national march in Washington, D.C., as well as local events in Montpelier and other Vermont locations.
What's happening on Saturday
The March For Our Lives mission statement lays out the genesis and goals of their movement. An excerpt explains:
"March for Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar."
A national march will take place on Saturday in Washington, D.C., but there are related events planned throughout the country.
VPR reporter Liam Elder-Connors will be covering the Montpelier event on Saturday. Follow him on Twitter, @lseconnors
Lead organizer Madison Knoop says there will be a number of youth speakers at Saturday's event, and that she wants to rally to empower young people to participate in government.
"There are so many ways for us to be heard, like just through voting and writing your representative and calling them and showing them your support of what they're doing and getting involved in different groups, you know, like gun reform groups," Knoop said.
The national hashtag for Saturday is #MarchForOurLives, but Knoop also noted that the hashtag that will be used in conjunction with state's event is #MarchForOurLivesVT
Montpelier Police issued a press release with parking information and safety tips for those planning to be in the city on Saturday.
Besides the capital, there are also March For Our Lives events planned on Saturday in other locations around the state:
- Middlebury: The Middlebury Green, at noon
- Rutland: Main Street Park, at noon
- Manchester Center: Factory Point Town Green, at 10 a.m.
- Bennington: A "vigil" at Four Corners, at 12:30 p.m.
- Putney: Putney Taven Common Lawn, at 10 a.m.
- Do you know of an event not listed here happening in your community? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to events within the state, some Vermont students are heading to the national March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C.
More from VPR — Randolph Union High School Students Head To D.C. For National 'March For Our Lives' [March 23]
Vermont students join the conversation about guns
Over the past few weeks, Vermont students have taken part in discussions and demonstrations regarding gun legislation.
In the week following a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead, some Rutland students began organizing the March For Our Lives event that will now be taking place in downtown Rutland this weekend.
More From VPR — Rutland Teens Among Youth Calling For Gun Control In Wake Of Florida Shooting [Feb. 23]
Young people in support of gun rights have also organized. At the University of Vermont, members of the college community held a gun rights rally at the Ira Allen Chapel on March 8. That event in turn sparked a counter-rally that same evening on campus, in front of the Bailey/Howe Library.
More from VPR — Vermont's Gun Debate Comes To UVM Campus [March 9]
Last week — on March 14 — students across the country participated in the #NationalSchoolWalkout, leaving classes to demonstrate against gun violence. In Vermont on that day, weather conditions meant many schools were closed, but students at a few schools across the state did still participate in walkout protests.
More from VPR — Vermont Students Join In National School Walkouts, Despite Some School Closures [March 14]
And just a few days ago, a public hearing was held at the Statehouse where some Vermont students in support of gun control legislation shared their thoughts and experiences with House and Senate lawmakers.
More from VPR — Students Demand Action From Montpelier On Gun Control Bills [March 21]
Gun legislation has been a dominant conversation in Montpelier in recent weeks. Gov. Phil Scott has expressed his support for some changes to gun laws in the state.
The Vermont House is spending the day before March For Our Lives debating various provisions of a gun control bill.
House approaching 5 hour mark in gun debate. Taking up different provisions separately - has just given its approval to ban on bumpstocks by a vote of 119-25. Background checks, raising the age to 21 to purchase a gun and a ban on high capacity magazines still to come #VTpoli— Bob Kinzel (@VPRKinzel) March 23, 2018
Update 2:57 p.m. This post was updated to include a tweet from Bob Kinzel noting the Vermont House approved a ban on bump stocks during their debate Friday.
Update 3/24/2018 9:17 a.m. Full story available here: After Marathon 10-Hour Debate, Vermont House Passes Gun Control Bill