The organizers behind the post-Inauguration Women’s March in Washington D.C. have been busy all year, and this week, they add a two-day action targeting the National Rifle Association of America (NRA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to the calendar.
At 9 a.m. EDT on July 14, protestors will gather at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. Following a rally, they will march 17 miles to the DOJ headquarters in Washington, D.C. for another rally on July 15 at noon.
From an emailed statement about the #NRA2DOJ march:
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 Second 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.
Last week, the NRA released a pair of videos that cast activists and people of color as the enemy. Women’s March organizers and other organizations—including the Los Angeles arm of Black Lives Matter—have pushed back against what the Women’s March calls “incendiary and racist actions.”
The organization also released an open letter to NRA executive vice president and CEO Wayne LaPierre, penned by Women’s March co-president Tamika D. Mallory and cosigned by dozens of organizations including Brotherhood/Sister Sol, Gays Against Guns and Million Hoodies.
“As a Black woman, as a mother, as someone directly impacted by gun violence, as an American citizen, I am traumatized and alarmed, and so are my sisters and siblings who are part of the Women’s March,” Mallory writes. “It is clear that your organization does not value the legal rights nor the human rights of any of us. Unless the NRA takes immediate action, the Women’s March will exercise our First Amendment right by calling for a mass mobilization.”
To that end, the organizers have three demands for the NRA:
- Immediately remove the recent irresponsible and dangerous propaganda videos narrated by conservative talk radio host Dana Loesch.
- Issue an apology to the American people for the video you sponsored, which bears your name and logo, as it suggests armed violence against communities of color, progressives and anyone who does not agree with this Administration’s policies.
- 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.