Jazz mentioned the student walkout earlier today in his post about MTV going dark for 17 minutes. The walkout itself began at 10 am eastern time and is now underway at hundreds of schools across the country. From the NY Times:
Thousands of students around New York, many backed by permission slips from their parents, walked out of their schools and converged on central locations — Columbus Circle, Battery Park, Brooklyn Borough Hall, Lincoln Center.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, stretched out on the sidewalk as part of a “lie-in” with students in Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan, the former home of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, the local union, joined them…
In Washington, sign-clutching students gathered outside the White House and on Capitol Hill, where they were joined by lawmakers including Chuck Schumer of New York and Nancy Pelosi of California, the Senate and House Democratic leaders.
There is video of some of these protests on Twitter and elsewhere. Here’s Gov. Cuomo lying in the gutter as part of the protest in Zuccotti Park:
— ABC News (@ABC) March 14, 2018
In Washington, DC students sat silently with their backs to the White House for 17 minutes. As CBS News reported, President Trump was not there to see or hear the protesters:
A crowd of students has been outside of the White House for more than an hour, @MajorCBS reports, but President Trump is not here to "see or hear" the protest, he says https://t.co/B9gqfHUvRF #NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/iDBJ73OLxK
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2018
And here’s Pelosi giving a speech at the Capitol about a “drumbeat across America.”
"You are creating, with this walkout today and your ongoing challenge to all of us … you are creating a drumbeat across America — a drumbeat that will echo until we get the job done," Rep. Nancy Pelosi says https://t.co/B9gqfHUvRF #NationalWalkoutDay pic.twitter.com/TsXSr5VUqy
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 14, 2018
Bernie Sanders showed up and was treated like one of the Beatles:
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) March 14, 2018
Here’s a bit of Bernie’s speech:
RT ThisWeekABC: Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses #NationalWalkoutDay crowd through a megaphone: "You, the young people of this country, are leading the nation." https://t.co/VVNLWEUm2j pic.twitter.com/7Uy5zWQrb5
— KarmiKira (@Kironymiss) March 14, 2018
And of course the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, the site of the shooting last month walked out too:
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 14, 2018
The walkout is supposed to be a protest against gun violence but the connection to the push for gun control legislation was never very far from the surface:
— Gus Burns (@GusBurns) March 14, 2018
The thing to get about all of this besides the clearly partisan intent is the scope of it. The claim is that 3,000 schools are participating in this today. I don’t know if that’s accurate or an exaggeration by organizers but there are certainly video clips and photos from a large number of schools around the country.
The next big event on the Parkland agenda is the march taking place in Washington, DC in 10 days. That promises to be another mass protest that will keep the story in the news. It’s not going to lead to a vote to ban guns, which is what the Parkland students want. Democrats know that. They’re getting on board with this in anticipation of November. But that’s still a long way from now. There’s really no telling what the political landscape will look like by election day.
Update: He’s absolutely right:
Students across the US are learning an important lesson at this hour, which is that whether you are allowed to walk out of class as a statement depends entirely on whether the school authorities approve of that statement.
— Walter Olson (@walterolson) March 14, 2018