Gone are the often spontaneous political rallies of yore, when hippies and their ilk simply hit the streets for a cause. The upcoming March For Our Lives rallies planned around the nation in response to the Parkland school shooting last month are meticulously organized, bear carefully calibrated messages and boast vigorous social media. They also are strategically funded. Close to 500 of these marches are set for March 24, and many will receive financial help from a major gun control activist group — at the rate of $5,000 for each event.
A mega-march will take place in the nation’s capital. There will also be a multitude of “sibling marches” in all 50 states according to Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization primarily underwritten with funds from former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The group has already raised over $3 million to fund the Washington march.
“Everytown is providing structural support for organic local marches planned in communities of all sizes across the nation,” the group said Tuesday. “Everytown previously announced $2.5 million in grants to provide 500 organizers with resources of $5,000 per march for associated operational expenses. So far, over 400 local marches have been planned by students and survivors in communities big and small.”
The group is monitoring an additional 100 marches overseas. The grand total at the moment is 482 events “worldwide” in the U.S., along with Britain, Spain, Italy, India, Vietnam, Japan, Chile, Australia and other nations. Everytown also is raising money for the marches through clearly branded merchandise — a hallmark of contemporary protest actions. There’s a handsome “March Merch” collection of shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the March For Our Lives logo, ranging in price from $25 to $31.
“We will see you in the streets,” the group advises buyers.
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