WE KNOW THAT WE ARE NOT SAFE.
BUT WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED INTO SILENCE.
Recent actions of the NRA demonstrate not only a disregard for the lives of black and brown people in America, but appear to be a direct endorsement of violence against women, our families and our communities for exercising our constitutional right to protest. On July 14th and 15th, Women’s March and partners will mobilize a mass demonstration, again grounded in the principles of Kingian nonviolence, to denounce the false and intimidating rhetoric of hatred and send a clear message that our movement will proudly and bravely continue to strive for the respect of the civil and human rights of all people.
We will gather Friday at 9am in front of the NRA Headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia, and rally beginning at 10am. Marchers will step off at 12pm for the 17-mile march from the NRA to the Department of Justice. People who wish to, will stay overnight in the D.C. area. We will gather at the Department of Justice on Saturday at 10am. More details to be announced.
Since the acquittal of Officer Yanez for shooting and killing Philando Castile in Minnesota, the NRA has failed to make any statement defending the civil rights of Mr. Castile, a law-abiding gun owner who can be heard in video footage clearly notifying the officer that he was carrying a licensed firearm. The NRA claims to stand for the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans, but their silence on Mr. Castile's constitutional right to own a gun betrayed a deep hypocrisy that many joined in calling out.
Then a vicious and incendiary NRA advertisement came to light, in which an alt-right propagandist appears to call for armed conflict against our communities, demonizing people of color, progressives and any of us who exercise our First Amendment right to peaceably assemble and exercise our free speech in protest. In response, Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory penned an open letter to the NRA asking them to remove and apologize for the ad, which was decried by many card-carrying NRA members and some Republican legislators as well.
Instead of backing away from the vitriol of the ad, the NRA responded by releasing a new video attacking Tamika and other leaders personally and extending the false narrative that our movement is a violent threat to public safety. This is the kind of inflammatory speech that leads to acts of hate and violence. It puts Tamika, a mother whose family has been impacted by gun violence, under increased threat as it does others named, and it is unequivocally meant to create a chilling effect on our communities speaking up and using the power of our collective voice.
At a time when our nation is seeing a rise in racially charged incidents and violence motivated by hate speech, it is unconscionable for a powerful organization like the NRA to unashamedly peddle an "us versus them" narrative and call for our grassroots, nonviolent resistance movement to be met with violence.
Please join the Women's March and our partners in exercising our First Amendment rights by holding a mass mobilization for our safety, calling on the NRA to take the following actions:
1. Take down the recent irresponsible and dangerous advertisement videos from all social platforms immediately.
2. Issue an apology to the American people for the video that suggests armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this Administration's policies.
3. Make a statement to defend Philando Castile's Second Amendment right to own a firearm and demand the Department of Justice indict the police officer who killed him for exercising his Second Amendment right and his privilege as a licensed concealed carry permit holder. This call is clearly in line with the mission and purpose of the NRA as an organization that purports to be the lobby and defender of the right to bear arms.
We know that we are not safe.
But we will not be intimidated into silence.