I’m so inspired by the students who spoke today at #MarchForOurLives in DC yesterday and so many sibling marches around US and even the world (including Calgary, Canada and UK)!
Check out a live blog reporting by UK Guardian, “March for Our Lives: hundreds of thousands demand end to gun violence – live” and CNN live blog with video clips report, “March For Our Lives: A Rally To End Gun Violence | NBC News”
Video and transcript of Emma González’s short speech.
“In a little over six minutes, seventeen of our friends were taken from us, fifteen were injured, and everyone, absolutely everyone in the Douglas community, was forever altered,” she said. “Six minutes and twenty seconds with an AR-15, and my friend Carmen would never complain to me about piano practice; Aaron Feis would never call Kyra ‘Miss Sunshine’; Alex Schachter would never walk into school with his brother Ryan; Scott Beigel would never joke around with Cameron at camp; Helena Ramsey would never hang out after school with Max; Gina Montalto would never wait for her friend Liam at lunch; Joaquin Oliver would never play basketball with Sam or Dylan; Alaina Petty would never; Cara Loughran would never; Chris Hixon would never; Luke Hoyer would never; Martin Duque Anguiano would never; Peter Wang would never; Alyssa Alhadeff would never; Jaime Guttenberg would never; Meadow Pollack would never.”
Then she stood in silence. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She said nothing. The crowd watched, also silent. A chant of “never again” started, and then faded out. Emma still stood. Finally, the beeping of an electric timer rang out. “Since the time that I came out here it has been six minutes and twenty seconds,” she said. “The shooter has ceased shooting and will soon abandon his rifle, blend in with the students as they escape, and walk free for an hour before arrest.” She concluded: “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”
[credit: speech transcript mostly from New Yorker with some corrections made near the end of the speech.]
2018 March 25 Sunday update:
* “@delaneytarr The BEST gov teacher a kid could ever ask for” : jeffrey foster @mrjefffostermsd Almost start time @Emma4Change @delaneytarr @Ryan_Deitsch Let’s change the world #NeverAgain #MSDStrong
*WaPo Perspective, “Emma González and the wordless act that moved a nation”
“The scene was brought to mind Saturday, on that impressive outdoor Washington stage before the countless faces at the March for Our Lives demonstration, as Emma González, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who has become one of the most prominent voices in the #NeverAgain movement, went on with her speech — and then, for a few minutes, didn’t.
It was one of the day’s most galvanizing moments, and a reminder of how little we appreciate in this Tower of Babel culture that the most powerful message can be the one we don’t try to put into words. After naming the dead in the Parkland, Fla., massacre, and identifying, like Hamlet, experiences they never would get to see, González simply stopped talking. The rest really was silence.
The absence of language, the extended pause for contemplation, remains a rare thing in public discourse, and even rarer onstage. A moment of silence is the ritualized form of respect we employ on many occasions to mark tragedy, but it’s usually only a moment. González’s silence was an act that felt, in its way, radical. It was as if she dropped the mic — yet a mic was still in front of her. The silence went on for about five minutes, and, as cable news cameras swept the crowd, you could tell some people did not know quite what to do with themselves. Gonzalez fixed her gaze into the distance, as if she were concentrating on something out of our normal range of perception; at times, she trembled and wiped away a tear. In the crowd, some people started to chant, or applaud, perhaps because the rule in this society seems to be that if there is a vacuum of noise, someone has to make some.
The interruptions were respectful, though, and eventually, as González steadfastly held her tongue, the hubbub died down. We were left with the image of a young, grieving woman, drawing our attention not to herself but to something more abstract: to time — the amount it took for a killer to mow down her classmates and teachers.
[…] González touchingly reminded us that a profound dialogue doesn’t always require them.“
March 26, 2018 update:
“March for Our Lives organizers send message to Congress – Fox News Sunday” (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Delaney Tarr and Cameron Kasky appeared on the show to talk)